There was a standoff in Parliament over the eligibility of James Quayson, the MP-elect for Assin North to partake in electing the Speaker for the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Despite the Cape Coast High Court ruling on Wednesday, January 6 preventing the Assin North MP from holding himself as the Member of Parliament-elect, James Gyakye Quayson was present in Parliament to be sworn in as MP for the 8th parliament. The NDC MP claimed Quayson had not been served by the court bailiff.
His presence led to some of his colleague MPs-elect raising objection to his legitimacy and hence his taking part in electing the Speaker of Parliament.
Alex Afenyo-Markin, MP-elect for Efutu sought clarity from Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, the Clerk to Parliament, who was Chairman for the election of the Speaker, was duly served with the injunction.
“Mr Chairman, all I want to enquire is that you have indicated that you have received communication from the EC. I am aware of a process that has been mounted at the Cape Coast High Court for the injunction of the MP-elect for Assin North. I want to find out from you if you have received a court order…… which order makes reference to any person on the list … So Mr Chair I believe that a response from you is important because if a public process is served on you, it is important that we are noticed that you are served and if you are served, what step are you taking”, Afenyo-Markin queried.
The MP-elect’s comments led to exchanges between the MPs with Muntaka Mubarak, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and others taking turns to argue whether or not James Gyakye should be recognized.
Haruna Iddrisu, the NDC Leader raised concern about Afenyo-Markin saying: “Institutions have their mandates. The courts have their mandates to adjudicate on matters if brought before it (sic) but the election of a member of Parliament is vested in Ghanaian citizens. We are aware that James Gyakye Quayson was duly elected”.
After listening to both sides of the house, the Clerk eventually told the MPs-elect that after conferencing with Haruna Iddrisu and Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, he had decided to let James Quayson cast a ballot with the legal consequences being entirely on Quayson only as per the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.