EC cannot hold by-election at Assin North – Lawyer

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Abraham Amaliba, Member of the NDC legal team

Former lawyer for embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, has said the Electoral Commission (EC) cannot hold a by-election following a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Abraham Amaliba maintained that, until the determination of the substantive case about whether or not Mr Quayson held dual citizenship prior to the 2020 elections, no such action can be taken.

The Apex Court in a majority 5-2 decision, restrained the Assin North MP from attending Parliament to conduct business on behalf of the people of Assin north.

This, many believe, is victory for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) which has been rooting for a by-election to increase their numbers in Parliament.

But reacting to this on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Wednesday, Abraham Amaliba said such jubilation is premature.

“EC cannot hold by-election in Assin North. The Supreme Court, when adjourning today, said the substantive matter has been adjourned sundial until that matter is disposed of, nobody should be talking about by-election,” he said.

According to him, once the Supreme Court has not made such ruling, not even the Clerk of Parliament can order the EC to hold a by-election.

He said it is not fair for the Supreme Court to stop the Assin North MP from representing the over 30 thousand constituents in Assin North.

“Denying the good people of Assin North of a representative in Parliament is not fair. How can you call such a country democratic when part of the people are not represented,” he quizzed.

Mr Amaliba, who is also the Director of Legal Affairs for the opposition National Democratic Congress, hinted they might seek review before the final determination of the case.

“As lawyers, we are meeting this evening, and we will make a decision. It’s 5-2; it’s possible that a review can be made, and if the judges are minded, they can turn around the decision, but nobody should be talking about a bye-election now when the matter itself has not been disposed of,” he said.

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