Story: Yaw Takyi
Deputy National Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande, has expressed the party’s readiness to contest in the upcoming Assin North by-election.
Speaking to the media, Mustapha Gbande rubbished claims that they have replaced James Gyakye Quayson as their parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
He noted that the NDC will re-present James Gyakye Quayson, who is credible and loved by his constituents, as their candidate.
He slammed the government for scheming to deny the people of Assin North their rightful representation in Parliament by using the judiciary.
“The party has a plan, but what we are sharing with the public is that the NDC is ready for the by-election. We know that the government is coming to challenge us, and we are already on the ground, and so our preparations are underway. The NDC is prepared for the Assin North by-election. We have said that the government has denied the people of Assin North representation in Parliament by using the judiciary. As we speak, the Supreme Court has not been able to deliver a written judgment to the parties involved, which is in itself a travesty of the process.
“What this means to us is that we need to consolidate our gains on the ground and reinforce what we already know. We have stated that we are re-presenting the candidate that we know, James Gyakye Quayson, who is credible and loved by his constituents. That decision has not changed. It is propaganda coming from the NPP to attack the integrity of our candidate that we are ditching him. The party has not said so. He is eligible to contest an election, and he is innocent until a court finds him guilty. Why is the NPP worried more than us?” asked the Deputy National Secretary of the NDC.
He said the party will monitor the NPP for possible vote-buying and will charge the police to act when they report incidents of vote-buying.
“Keeping in mind that the government has decided to repeat the issue of vote-buying, we are going to keep the Ghana Police on alert about some of these things. If we cite the issue of vote-buying and make a complaint, the police must not take it as business as usual, but must act on it, so that we can have a level playing field. If we do that, we are optimistic that the NDC will win the seat,” he expressed hope.
Parliament, through its Clerk, declared the Assin North Parliamentary seat vacant on May 30, following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the eligibility of James Gyakye Quayson in occupying the Assin North seat.
The Supreme Court, by a unanimous decision on May 17, ordered Ghana’s Parliament to expunge the name of James Gyakye Quayson from its records as the Member of Parliament for the Assin North constituency.