The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, is yet to take a decision on the New Patriotic Party’s push to get the Member of Parliament for Fomena, to vacate his seat, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has said.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also told the press in Parliament he is yet to meet the Speaker on the NPP’s concerns affecting the MP in his caucus.
The Fomena MP, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, is contesting as an independent candidate in the 2020 election though he was elected on the ticket of the NPP in 2016.
Per the NPP constitution, this means he has forfeited his membership of the party thus compelling the NPP to write to the Speaker of Parliament to cause Mr. Asiamah to vacate his seat.
Parliament is yet to comment on the MP’s status.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Speaker of Parliament’s “attention has been drawn to it, but he is pondering over the content of the letter.”
The Majority Leader has also declined to comment on the controversy.
“The letter was not written to me. It was written to the Speaker so if there is any response, it should come from the Speaker and not me,” he said when quizzed by journalists on Friday, October 16, 2020.
Objections to NPP stance
Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, is opposed to the NPP’s moves against the Fomena MP and said the party is trying to intimidate him.
Mr. Ayariga insisted that the “NPP has no power or whatsoever to withdraw him from Parliament.”
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,” the National Democratic Congress legislator added.
He also said the calls for him to vacate the seat were not grounded in law.
Mr. Ayariga thus urged the Speaker of Parliament to quash the request from the NPP.
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.