Politics of Tuesday, 10 November 2020
The Majority leader in parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has challenged Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare popularly known as Kwaku Azar to point to the specific law which says the Speaker has no basis or legal right to declare the Fomena sea as vacant.
The respected lawyer had slammed the Speaker for declaring the Fomena seat vacant after the MP, Mr. Amoako Asiamah decided to contest the seat as an independent candidate.
Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Ocquaye on Saturday declared the Fomena parliamentary seat vacant.
His declaration was necessitated by the NPP MP’s to contest for re-election as an independent candidate after he lost the party primary.
“With all intents and purposes, he is no longer a member of the party. He has pronounced himself publicly as an independent and has filed his papers to compete against the party in his official candidate as an independent on 7th December 2020,” the Speaker said on Saturday.
Reacting to this, lawyer Azar said the Speaker has no legal basis to declare the seat vacant.
“It is not the job of Speaker Ocquaye to determine whether the MP for Fomena has vacated his seat. It is the job of the high court. The MP says he has not vacated his seat. Those who think he has should seek relief from the high court, not from the Speaker, who is neither a judge or, in this case, even an independent party”.
The Constitution says clearly that “the High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether the seat of a member has become vacant.” So if a question has arisen, the Speaker should have advised NPP to go to the high court.
The law is also clear that an MP vacates his seat “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”, portions of opinion read.
But Mr. Mensah-Bonsu says the opinion by the lawyer has no basis, and he should also provide the specific law that prevents the Speaker from declaring the seat.
When asked if the NPP will accept the seat should the Fomena MP wins as an independent candidate, he said when they get to that bridge, they will cross.
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