Speaker can’t vacate Assin North seat due to lawsuit – Parliamentary Service

The Parliamentary Service has said the Speaker of Parliament doesn’t plan to vacate the Assin North seat held by the National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentary Candidate, James Quayson, whose victory in the 2020 election was annulled a High Court on July 28.

According to letter a from the Service to the Registrar of the Law Court Complex, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, said the issue has “not been concluded by the Courts with competent jurisdiction on the matter.”

The letter sighted by Citi News added that the Speaker “is not clothed with the legal basis to make a pronouncement on the matter and can thus not declare the occurrence of a vacancy in the House pursuant to the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.”

Mr. Quayson, after the initial ruling by the Cape Coast High Court, filed a suit at the Appeals Court on August 5 to suspend his removal as an elected MP.

He has also appealed the ruling which had to do with him holding dual citizenship status before contesting in the polls.

The letter also referenced article 117 of the 1992 Constitution with regards to the service of processes on the Speaker or a Member of Parliament.

“Mr. Speaker further noted in his formal communication on the matter on the 9th June 2021 that ‘when, Parliament is on recess and a Speaker, Member of Parliament or Clerk to Parliament is in the precincts of Parliament, there is a presumption that the Speaker, Member of Parliament or Clerk to Parliament is attending to the business of Parliament, and cannot be served a process within the precincts of Parliament.’”

The service said Mr. Bagbin wanted these provisions to be respected and complied with by Court Registrars and bailiffs “to ensure the mutual respect and balance of the Legislature and judiciary as Arms of government.”

Source: citinewsroom.com