Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, says he disagrees with the Speaker’s argument that the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Gyakye Quayson case is unclear.
According to him, the Supreme Court’s ruling has clarity and is grounded in constitution, as such; there should be no uncertainty as to how parliament should proceed on the matter.
“The second matter is the unclarity, then I ask myself, on many occasions he the speaker has called on the table to expunge what a member might have said, how is it done? How is it done? On many, many occasions. So how is it done? So if they say that his name should be expunged and you say that well you find it difficult, I disagree with you. I think there’s clarity,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Epress.
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, had expressed uncertainty regarding the clarity of the court’s order following his reversal of an initial decision after initially ordering that parliament retain the name of James Gyakye Quayson on its books.
This was after the Supreme Court recently made public the full reasoning behind its decision to declare the Assin North MP’s victory unconstitutional.
On May 17, the apex court ruled that Mr Quayson should be expunged from parliament’s records as a member of parliament.
But speaking in the house on Thursday, Mr Bagbin explained that “the order did not say the speaker should expunge [Gyakye Qyayson].”
“It did not say any member of parliament or clerk should expunge [the name], it says the institution called parliament. So that institution must carry out the order. The only way the institution can carry out the order is for the institution to reason together. And that is only done in a sitting where the opportunity is given to members to think through it,” he told the parliamentarians.
However, reacting to the speaker’s statement, the majority leader said it was baffling that the issue should cause some uncertainty in the house.
“One, as far as I am concerned, the ruling of the Supreme Court is predicated on Article 97(1)(e) which says ‘ a member of parliament shall vacate his seat in parliament if any circumstances arise such that if he were not a member of parliament would cause him to be disqualified, or be ineligible for election under Article 94 of this constitution.’
“It had to do with his owing allegiance to another country other than Ghana which by his own submission was blunt that he didn’t owe any allegiance to any other country apart from Ghana. But subsequently it comes out. So on account of that the people believing that he didn’t owe allegiance to any other country, they voted him.
“It comes out that he did owe allegiance to another country other than Ghana , on account of that the courts have ruled that he was therefore ineligible to have contested and so this then kicks in. this thing has arisen, it’s been found out that you were not qualified to contest, so when they said that you ought not to have been a member of parliament ab initio, there’s a reason why they’re saying that if you were not a member of parliament you cannot then be described as a former member of parliament,” he said.