Embattled Former Assin North MP Confident of Victory in Impending By-Election

James Gyakye Quayson, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, remains optimistic about his chances of winning the upcoming by-election despite facing challenges. Quayson, who is currently embroiled in a criminal prosecution case, asserts that no amount of intimidation from the governing party will derail his campaign.

During an interview on Sunday, June 18, Quayson expressed his determination to stand and fight for his constituents, emphasizing that even the ongoing legal proceedings would not diminish his resolve. He stated that Assin North will continue to support him, regardless of any attempts to impede his candidacy.

Quayson declared, “Even if they give me a bedroom in the court, Assin North will still vote for me. If they want to see me in the court every hour, which means I can’t leave, they should give me a chamber and I will sleep there. I’m still going to stand strong and tall and fight for my people.”

Preparations are well underway for the Assin North by-election scheduled for June 27, 2023. Four parliamentary candidates are vying for the seat, with the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) candidate, Charles Opoku, drawing the first slot in the ballot. The Liberal Party of Ghana’s Sefanu Bernice Enyonam secured the second position, followed by the National Democratic Congress’ James Gyakye Quayson in the third position. Independent candidate Abaidoo Agartha completes the ballot sheet.

All candidates are currently intensifying their campaign efforts in various communities within the constituency. Despite the ongoing criminal case against Quayson, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) maintains that he is eligible to participate in the by-election. The NDC’s Director of Legal Affairs, Abraham Amaliba, asserted that Quayson has not been found guilty of any crime and, therefore, is qualified to contest.

Amaliba stated, “Until and unless he is convicted and sentenced, nothing bars him from contesting. So the advice given to the party is that as of November 2020 when he received his certificate of renunciation, he is qualified to contest any election, including presidential elections.”

While some have questioned the NDC’s decision to retain Quayson as a candidate, Amaliba explained that as long as there is a possibility of acquittal, the party is willing to take a calculated risk. He highlighted that the court could rule in favor of Quayson and acquit him.

Quayson’s legal troubles began in 2022 when he faced charges of forgery, perjury, deceiving a public officer, and making a false declaration. The Attorney-General’s Office brought these charges after the High Court nullified the Assin North Parliamentary election results in July 2021, citing Quayson’s ineligibility to contest. In May 2023, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s decision, affirming that Quayson was unqualified when he filed his nomination forms and that the Electoral Commission’s allowance was unconstitutional due to a lack of evidence regarding the renunciation of his Canadian citizenship.

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