Politics Thu, 15 Oct 2020

The law backs the expulsion of Fomena MP - Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs

Executive Director for Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr. Rasheed Dramani has described as legal, the New Patriotic Party(NPP)’s quest to expel the Fomena MP from parliament.

His statement follows the NPP officially writing to Parliament asking the speaker to declare the Fomena seat in the Ashanti Region vacant.

The incumbent MP for Fomena, Andrew Amankwah Asiamah has filed to contest the 2020 general election on an independent ticket.

This decision came after he lost the NPP’s primary election to his contender.

There has also been concern from some quarters about the timing of the party’s decision describing it as bad precedence.

According to the NPP, the incumbent MP has forfeited his membership by his action and that is enough grounds to withdraw him from the House according to Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution.

“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 NPP said in a statement.

Commenting on the issue, Executive Director for Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr Rasheed Dramani said this development is in tandem with constitutional provisions.

According to the ACEP boss, this move will help avert the potential crisis associated with the seat if the reverse was the case, adding that, “a clear message has to be sent. I have seen many countries on this continent where issues such as this one have created so much confusion in a parliament, he told Joy News.”

Citing an instance in Malawi, he explained that the issue of timing has to be left to the interpretation of the constitutional lawyers.

However, he believes the Fomena constituency seat in the House must be filled as soon as possible despite the proximity to the December 7, presidential and parliamentary elections.

“I don’t think that the seat should be left empty… I think everybody needs to be represented. We shouldn't have any vacuum in our parliament.

“Some will say it is going to be an unnecessary cost but I guess we have chosen the democratic path and we have to abide by all the provisions. We can’t pick and choose,” he added.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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