The National Democratic Congress (NDC) faithful should blame their party leadership and structures for Mr James Gyakye Quayson’s woes, Mr Peter Mac Manu, a former National Chairman, New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.
“NDC party sympathisers should not vent their frustrations on the Supreme Court and Electoral Commission for doing the right thing but rather blame their weak party structures that did not do due diligence to ensure that Mr James Gyakye Quayson , Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, had the necessary qualification to contest.”
He said the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had failed Mr Quayson, the embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North.
He said:” I do not think that we should look at the Assin North case or the Quayson case only from a legal perspective, there is so much to say about the political aspects of the entire case. I am saying so because in the process of nomination of a candidate, it is the party that must do the needful, that must do the right thing. The national executives, the regional executives of the NDC failed in that manner.
“I am saying so because the internal primaries should not be the end of the game for a political party work itself, but you should also go further to do checks on whether the person who has won the internal primaries duly qualifies constitutionally or legally to contest the election and the NDC woefully failed in that regard,” he said.
Mr Manu, who was also the campaign manager of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2016 and 2020 elections, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Tuesday, explained that political party organisation and the process of candidate’s nominations were also part of how parties were managed.
“A mature political party organisation and management will not allow that to happen. In the New Patriotic Party even when you have won the primaries, we still go further with a committee called Parliamentary Candidates Verification Committee to verify whether though you have won the internal primaries you have all it takes as far as constitutional, legal and Electoral Commission processes in its rightful place before we file your name with the Electoral Commission to contest election.
“That’s what a management of political parties and nomination processes should entail, so they failed their people woefully and they should not blame judges or lawyers in court for doing what they were supposed to have done earlier to avoid all these happenings. The National Democratic Congress in the Central region in Ghana failed Quayson and they are leading him on a dangerous path, and I have said it time and time again that Quayson is now being charged criminally, he is now on bail, the matter is in court, we are waiting for the outcome,” he told the GNA.
Mr Manu advised Mr Quayson not to follow the dictates of his party executives who had let him down and rather do the right thing to avoid any unpleasant happenings. “This is my advice to Quayson and the entire NDC fraternity in Assin North and Ghana,” he said.
The Supreme Court has ordered the NDC Member of Parliament for Assin North, Mr Quayson, to stop holding himself as an MP until the determination of a suit challenging the constitutionality of his election.
In a 5-2 majority decision on Wednesday April 13, 2022, Ghana apex court ordered Mr Quayson to abstain from any Parliamentary business and refrain from engaging in activities pertaining to an MP.
The injunction against the MP would hold until the final determination of a suit challenging the constitutionality of Mr Quayson’s election as MP.
The injunction application was filed by a constituent of Assin North, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, who secured a judgment from the Cape Coast High Court, nullifying Mr Quayson’s election on the basis that he held Canadian citizenship at the time he filed to contest the parliamentary election.
The applicant argued that despite the judgment of the Cape Coast High Court in 2021, Mr Quayson continues to parade himself as a sitting MP.
With the substantive suit, Mr Ankomah-Nimfah is seeking a declaration from the apex court that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, at the time the EC opened nominations for people to file to contest the Assin North parliamentary seat, Mr Quayson was not qualified to contest.
He further wants the court to declare that the EC breached Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution when it allowed Mr Quayson to contest the parliamentary election in Assin North when he owed allegiance to another country.
Mr Quayson polled 17,498 votes, as against 14,793 by the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah, in the December 7, 2020, parliamentary election.
On December 30, 2020, Mr Ankomah-Nimfah filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the eligibility of Mr Quayson to be an MP.
The court upheld the petition, and on July 28, 2021, following that petition by Mr Ankomah-Nimfah, the Cape Coast High Court declared Mr Quayson’s election as void, on the basis that he owed allegiance to another country other than Ghana, contrary to Article 94(2) of the 1992 Constitution.
It was the considered view of the court that as of the time Mr Quayson filed to contest the MP position, he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship and, therefore, he was not qualified to become a legislator.
The court, presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, ordered the EC to organise a new election in the constituency.
The MP filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Cape Coast, but on March 22, the second-highest court of the land struck out the appeal for not following the rules of court.