Minority Leader disagrees with calls for by-election in Mfantseman after death of MP

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Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has questioned suggestions for parliamentary by-election in the Mfantseman constituency following the death of Mfantseman MP Ekow Quansah Hayford in less than three months to the December 7 general elections.

He noted that Ghana’s 1992 Constitution does not support a by-election within three months to general elections to fill the Mfantseman Constituency vacancy created by the death of Mr. Ekow Quansah Hayford.

Mr Iddrisu’s comment comes at the back of a vacant seat in Parliament created as a result of the murder of Mr Ekow Quansah Hayford, by suspected armed robbers on October 9th 2020, 58 days to the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December 7, 2020.

The late MP was shot dead by armed men on the Abeadze Dominase – Abeadze Duadzi – Mankessim Road in the Central Region while returning from a campaign tour in the constituency after filing his nominations to be re-elected in the next parliamentary polls.

The gruesome death has attracted wide condemnation amidst suggestions in certain circles for a by-election to fill the vacancy before the December 7 polls.

However, Mr. Iddrisu at a presser at the Parliament House in Accra quoted Article 112 Clauses 5 and 6 of the 1992 Constitution to support the position of no need for a by-election.

Article 112 clauses 5 and 6 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana states:

(5) Whenever a vacancy occurs in Parliament, the Clerk to Parliament shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing within seven days after the vacancy occurred, and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred.

(6) Notwithstanding clause (5) of this article, a by-election shall not be held within three months before the holding of a general election.

Mr Iddrisu used the presser to call for protection for MPs, not only in the run-up to the December 7, 2020, general elections, but all times, and as provided for other public officeholders.

Mr Iddrisu also commented on the status of Mr Andrew Asiamah, who until recently was on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament, but now going as an independent candidate in the next parliamentary elections.

Mr Iddrisu wondered where “the legs” of the defected MP were before the next general polls.

Meanwhile, the NPP has announced that it has written to Parliament seeking the expulsion of Mr Asiamah from the august house.

In a statement signed by General Secretary John Boadu, the party says the MP by his decision to contest as an independent candidate in the 2020 December elections has forfeited his seat in parliament, as his actions in essence breaches article 97 (1)(g) of the 1992 constitution.

“The Party has noted that the Member of Parliament for the Fomena Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Amoako Andrew Asiamah, who was elected to Parliament on the ticket of the party has filed to contest as an Independent Parliamentary Candidate. By so doing, he has presumably vacated his Seat in Parliament pursuant to Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, Article 97(1)(g) of the Constitution states that: ‘A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he leaves the party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an independent member’.”

The party has therefore taken the necessary steps to inform the Speaker of Parliament of the above circumstances, for appropriate action to be taken,” a release from the NPP read.

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