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General News of Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Source: Atinka Online

Fomena MP can challenge Parliament’s decision in court - Lawyer

Private legal practitioner and lecturer, Yaw Oppong, has said the Fomena MP whose seat has been declared vacant by the Speaker of Parliament can challenge the decision in court.

Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, declared the seat of the Fomena Member of Parliament vacant following his decision to go independent in the December 7 polls despite restrains by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The declaration follows an application tabled before the Speaker of Parliament by the NPP asking for the removal of the Fomena MP, Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah, from Parliament.

“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 Party has therefore taken the necessary steps to inform the Speaker of Parliament of the above circumstances, for appropriate action to be taken,” The Deputy General Secretary for the NPP John Boadu said.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament Monday, November 9th, Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye ruled that with all intents and purposes, the Fomena MP is no longer a member of the party since he has pronounced himself publicly as an independent candidate and has filed his papers to compete against the party as an independent candidate on December 7, 2020.

“Having forfeited the membership of the party on whose ticket he was elected to parliament, the operative language of the constitution is that he shall – which is mandatory – vacate his seat in Parliament,” he ruled.

Speaking to the issue on Atinka FM’s AM Drive with host Ekourba Gyasi, Private legal practitioner and lecturer, Yaw Oppong, explained that although the Fomena MP has decided to go independent, he has not joined the independent MPs in Parliament.

Parliament is structured in a way that the Majority in Parliament has a designated seating likewise the Minority and the independent Members of Parliament. Although the Fomena MP has decided to go independent, he has not joined the independent Members of parliament and has no seat among them. Both the Party and the Fomena MP have a point and it can be challenged in court,” he added.

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