The Speaker of Parliament, appears to be playing games with the Fomena Constituency seat which per constitutional provision, has become vacant because the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expelled the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Andrews Amoako Asiamah from its fold.
Interestingly, Prof. Mike Ocquare, stated that the decision to declare the seat vacant is still under consideration and this has left the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, openly expressing his confusion.
While, many feel that the Speaker would have long declared the seat vacant had the expulsion letter come from another member, other than his beloved NPP, others also hold the view, the Speaker, who is a lawyer by profession, is acting unconstitutionally per Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution.
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, addressing the issue stated that he cannot on authority say exactly what the Speaker meant when he said he was pondering over the issue.
"So I asked him the content of the matter but because we were in a hurry to come to the chamber, I did not really interrogate it further to know what he meant by still pondering over it.
"That's what I know about it, the letter is not written to me, it's written to the speaker, if there is any response, it should come from the Speaker, not me," he said.
The NPP expelled him for filing as an independent candidate.
John Boadu, NPP General Secretary in a statement on October 13, 2020, said by deciding to stand as an independent candidate, Mr Asiamah, has forfeited his membership of the Party per Article 3(9) of the party's Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional branch of the NPP, wants the Speaker of Parliament to declare the Fomena Constituency seat vacant based on a letter they wrote addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye.
Mr Boadu in the statement on October 13, 2020, explained that the party's Constitution, states that any member of the party, who supports or campaigns for an independent parliamentary candidate ahead of forthcoming general elections, also automatically forfeits his/her membership of the NPP.
Mr Boadu, also said the party has written to the Speaker of Parliament to notify him of Mr Asiamah's action and the fact that he is no longer a member of the NPP.
He cited Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states that "A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he leaves the party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an independent member."
According to the governing party, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, has forfeited his membership by his action and that is enough grounds to withdraw him from the House pursuant to Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution.
The Party, therefore, says it has taken the necessary steps to inform the Speaker of Parliament of the above circumstances, for appropriate action to be taken, General Secretary of the party John Boadu said.
The Party, further commended party members who rescinded their decision to contest as independent candidates, citing MP for Akwatia, Ama Sey, as one who has led an exemplary life.
"Such display of loyalty and patriotism to the Party can never go unnoticed, and the Party duly acknowledges same," he added.
Read full statement below from the NPP:
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) wishes to serve notice to the few members of the Party who decided to file as Independent Parliamentary Candidates that they have automatically FORFEITED their membership of the Party from the very day they filed with the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest pursuant to Article 3(9) of the NPP Constitution.
Equally, by this constitutional injunction, any member of the Party who supports or campaigns for an Independent Parliamentary Candidate ahead of the forthcoming general elections also automatically forfeits his/her membership of the NPP.
The Party has noted that the Member of Parliament for the Fomena Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Amoako Andrew Asiamah, who was elected to Parliament on the ticket of the Party, has filed to contest as an Independent Parliamentary Candidate.
By so doing, he has presumably vacated his Seat in Parliament pursuant to Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic.
For the avoidance of doubt, Article 97(1)(g) of the Constitution states that:"A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he leaves the party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an independent member."
The Party has therefore taken the necessary steps to inform the Speaker of Parliament of the above circumstances, for appropriate action to be taken.
The NPP also wishes to use this opportunity to commend all the members of the Party who had contemplated to go Independent but reconsidered their decision in deference to the supreme interest of the Party.
Such display of loyalty and patriotism to the Party can never go unnoticed, and the Party duly acknowledges same.
In particular, the Party salutes Mercy Adu-Gyamfi, popularly known as Ama Sey, the MP for Akwatia Constituency for paying heed to wise counsel and deciding not to file as Independent Candidate but to rather support the Party's 2020 Parliamentary Candidate for the Akwatia Constituency, Mr Ernest Yaw Kumi, to retain the Akwatia Seat for the NPP.
The Party again commends all the former aspiring Parliamentary Candidates who, even though were unsuccessful in the 2020 parliamentary primaries of the Party, are very much involved in campaigning for their respective Parliamentary Candidates ahead of the general elections.
Finally, the Party congratulates all the 275 Parliamentary Candidates of the Party who successfully filed their nominations with the Electoral Commission to contest in the 2020 Parliamentary Elections and wishes them the best success in the elections.
The NPP is undoubtedly on course to maintaining its overwhelming Majority Seats in the next Parliament Insha Allahu.