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Parliament declares Fomena seat vacant as MP contests own party

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Amoako Andrew Asiamah

Speaker of Parliament Aaron Mike Oquaye has declared the Fomena seat, occupied by Andrew Amoako Asiamah, a member from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) vacant as the MP now contests as independent candidate in Election 2020.

The NPP wrote to Parliament to withdraw Asiamah after he filed with the Electoral Commission to contest in the 2020 parliamentary elections as an independent candidate.

According to the NPP, Mr Asiamah lost his membership by his action and that served as plausible grounds to withdraw him from the House pursuant to Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 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 statement said.

In his ruling, Prof Oquaye said that “Having forfeited his membership of the party on whose ticket he was elected to parliament, the operative language of the constitution is that he shall, which is mandatorily vacating his seat in parliament.

“Going by a purposive interpretation of the current law, consultative actions on the part of the MP are important. To all intents and purposes, he is no longer a member of the party, he has pronounced himself publicly as an independent and has filed his papers to compete against the party and its candidate as an independent candidate on December 7, 2020.”

“On that occasion, this parliament will still be operating as an official parliament of the Republic of Ghana. We shall not have a situation adopted freely by any sitting MP when he or she will be campaigning freely against the party which he or she still represents in parliament and yet ridiculously stands against the party.

“No purposive interpretation of law will allow such ridicule to prevail,” the Speaker said.

According to the Speaker, the lacuna of such a ridiculous situation was not what was anticipated under the 1992 Constitution.

He stated: “Under the circumstances, parliament has determined that the conduct of Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah amounts to vacating his seat in parliament. Accordingly, we bring this to the notice of the Electoral Commission for necessary action to be taken in accordance with the law.”

Source: GNA

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