Speaker’s decision not to declare Assin North seat vacant apt – Afenyo-Markin

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has said the decision of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin not to declare the Assin North seat vacant is a step in the right direction.

According to the Efutu lawmaker, the speaker should not even have been written to, to declare the seat vacant.

Mr Bagbin had declined to declare the Assin North seat in parliament occupied by embattled National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentarian, James Quayson, vacant following the receipt of an order from the Cape Coast High Court.

James Quayson’s victory was challenged in an election petition and was consequently annulled by the High Court on July 28. The Court thus issued a Declaratory Order to Parliament for his seat to be declared vacant.

But the Speaker said the matter is not concluded as yet.

A letter from the Parliamentary Service dated September 3 explained that it will be premature for the seat to be declared vacant.

“That prior to the receipt of this process, Mr. Speaker had received certified true copies of the documents from the lawyers of James Quayson, Member of Parliament for the Assin North Constituency filed in respect of an appeal against the judgement of the High Court, Cape Coast and an application for Stay of Execution of the said judgment of the High Court”, parts of the letter read.

That, the Speaker further explains means “the matter in question is still sub judice and has thus not been concluded by the Courts with competent jurisdiction”.

He added that, considering the circumstances, he does not have “legal basis to make a pronouncement on the matter”.

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The Speaker also reminded the court of the immunity granted parliamentarians under Article 117 of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992.

Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Dzifa Bampoh on this development, Mr Afenyo-Markin said “The practice is that since a stay of execution is filed it operates as a stay until same is dismissed or otherwise.

“So yes as we speak Mr Quayson has filed a stay of execution pending the hearing his appeal. I am sure parties to the suit will deal with it so let us wait for the decision of the court on his stay then we can talk again.

“Once the stay is determined depending on which way it goes, if the court holds the view that the stay is granted, what it means is that he will remain an MP until the final determination of his case.”

Source: 3news.com|Ghana