The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central in the Upper East Region, Mahama Ayariga, wants the Speaker of Parliament to quash the request from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to have the Fomena seat in the House declared vacant.
The incumbent MP for the constituency, Andrew Amoako Asiamah was an NPP member who filed to contest as an independent candidate in the upcoming election.
As a result, the NPP wrote to the Speaker of Parliament to demand the invocation of its party constitutional provision that makes a parliamentary seat vacant after a member of the house leaves the party that sponsored his candidature to the house.
Per the NPP constitution, members who decide to file nomination forms as independent parliamentary candidates automatically forfeit their membership of the party.
But according to the Bawku Central legislator, the request from the NPP has no constitutional basis.
“What the constitution stipulates is that if you are a Member of Parliament and you come to Parliament and you want to cross carpet from the party on whose ticket you came to Parliament to another party, then you lose your seat and on that basis,” he said to Citi News.
He thus argued that the MP was entitled to sit in Parliament “and partake in deliberations in the house until the end of his tenure of office as MP elapses.”
Mr. Ayariga insisted further that the “NPP has no power or whatsoever to withdraw him from Parliament.”
He further suggested that the NPP “just wants to intimidate him and to scare him to withdraw his nomination as an independent candidate in his constituency and that has nothing to do with us here.”
What the law says
Ghana’s laws in Article 97 of the constitution say a member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament:
(a) upon a dissolution of Parliament; or
(b) if he is elected as Speaker of Parliament; or
(c) if he is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet; or
(d) if he is expelled from parliament after having been found guilty of contempt of Parliament by a committee of Parliament; or
(e) if any circumstances arise such that, if he were not a member of Parliament, would cause him to be disqualified or ineligible for election, under article 94 of this Constitution; or
(f) if he resigns from office as a member of Parliament by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker; or
(g) 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; or
(h) if he was elected a member of Parliament as an independent candidate and joins a political party.