Timelines on when one renounces citizenship not your responsibility – Mahama Ayariga slams SC ruling on Gyakye Quayson

Mahama Ayariga

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has taken a swipe at the Supreme Court for its judgement on James Gyakye Quayson as Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency.

After its judgement on Wednesday, May 17, the apex court of Ghana released the official written judgement on Monday, June 6.

Commenting on the written judgement on TV3‘s Ghana Tonight on Monday, the former Education Minister said Mr Gyakye Quayson owed no allegiance to any other country as of the time of his swearing-in as MP.

He said that makes him eligible to serve since the 1992 Constitution did not give any timelines as to when a person does not qualify to be an MP due to dual citizenship.

“The Supreme Court reversed and went back to when he was filing nomination to ask, ‘At the time you were filing nominations, were you owing allegiance to another country? On the date of elections, were you owing allegiance to another country?

“For me, I think that the two earlier timelines are not the responsibility of the Supreme Court. Those are the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and statutes.”

The Bawku Central MP said the Supreme Court should have made it clear that there was a lacuna in the constitution regarding when a person has to renounce his citizenship to take up a position in Ghana.

“To go and interpret the constitution to extend to a period at which you were filing nominations and the day of elections is to read something different form what is in the constitution.”

The Supreme Court ruled that the name of Mr Gyakye Quayson be expunged from parliamentary records.

A by-election has since been announced for Assin North with Mr Gyakye Quayson lacing his boots to stand on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) again.

The Minority members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament had delayed a decision on Justice Gertrude Torkornoo as Chief Justice with the pretext of seeing her portion of the written judgement on the Assin North MP case.

This was communicated to her during her vetting by Mr Ayariga.

It is unclear if the opposition NDC will seek a review of the unanimous decision taken by the highest court of Ghana.


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