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Friday, December 8, 2023

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We’re committed to preserving the Assin North seat – Mustapha Gbande

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), according to Deputy National Secretary Mustapha Gbande, is committed to winning the upcoming Assin North by-election.

Speaking to the media on Monday, he stressed that it was crucial for the party to retain the seat.

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According to him, losing the Assin North seat has the tendency to restructure Parliament thus “will loosen the natural checks and balances that have been placed on this government through a hung Parliament.”

For this reason, he believes the Assin North by-election to be a national interest-prone election and “we [NDC] are determined to defend the holding of the seat.”

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Earlier, the Deputy National Secretary of the NDC indicated that plans are in place to ensure that they retain the seat.

Mustapha Gbande said preparations were already in place for campaigning and other activities in the constituency right after the Supreme Court order that led to the expunging of Mr James Gyakye Quayson’s name from parliament’s records.

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“We in the NDC are prepared for this election. We began our preparation even as we were in Kumawu. We will do our review meetings and we will take over Assin North. We knew that we would go into a by-election and so the party has already put processes in place,” he said.

“There was a vigil held recently, and subsequently there are other activities that will start tomorrow to canvass and further reinforce our relationship with the constituents,” Mr Gbande added.

The Deputy General Secretary also noted that the party will not hold an internal election to elect a new candidate for the parliamentary race.

He stated that the party has decided to back Mr James Gyakye Quayson as the candidate to lead the party.

“He (Mr Quayson) is ready for the election. He has been to the constituency and you will see many more activities and his presence in the consistency. I am confident that he is going to win,” Mr Gbande said.

On their campaign, he added that “our focus is going to center on sensitising the people to understand that if you have a government that has not performed for six years, sharing GH¢100 and GH¢500 a day does not change destiny; and that clearly you are dealing with a group that is deceptive and does not follow the precedents of development and growth.”

The Assin North Constituency was created in 2012 when the Assin Central Constituency was split into two as Assin North and Assin Central. It was held by the NDC in 2012, taken by the NPP in 2016 and won by the NDC in 2020 again.

In the 2020 parliamentary election for instance, the votes margin between the NDC and the NPP was 3,305. This was in spite of the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo won the presidential.

A by-election in Assin North has become necessary after parliament wrote to the Electoral Commission declaring the seat vacant.

This followed the Supreme Court ruling that the Electoral Commission acted unconstitutionally in allowing Mr Quayson to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections without proof of him renouncing his Canadian Citizenship.

The apex court in their ruling ordered parliament to expunge James Gyakye Quayson from its records as a Member of Parliament.

The court in a unanimous decision ruled that Mr. Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing his nomination forms.

It further held that the EC allowing him to contest when he had not shown evidence of renunciation of his citizenship of Canada is unconstitutional.

It further declared that his election was unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect. His swearing-in was equally declared to be unconstitutional.

In a related development, the National Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said the opposition NDC will not retain the Assin North seat with sympathy votes.

Henry Nana Boakye explained that the dynamics in the area is beyond voting for a personality who was ousted from Parliament for engaging in illegality.

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