Dr. Justice Srem-Sai, a Senior Lecturer at Gimpa Faculty of Law, has stated that James Gyakye Quayson, the embattled MP for Assin North, remains eligible to vote in upcoming primaries and general elections if he decides to contest for the position of a parliamentarian once again. This statement follows a Supreme Court ruling by a seven-member panel, which ordered parliament to remove Mr. Gyakye Quayson’s name as a Member of Parliament. The apex court’s decision prohibited Mr. Quayson from presenting himself as an MP for Assin North, noting that he was not qualified when he contested the 2020 election.
During an interview on TV3’s Ghana Tonight, Dr. Srem-Sai addressed the issue and emphasized that Gyakye Quayson, who allegedly obtained his renunciation certificate after applying to renounce his Canadian citizenship, cannot be disqualified if he decides to run for the same seat again. According to Dr. Srem-Sai, information from the court indicates that the embattled MP received his certificate one month prior to the December 2020 elections. Consequently, he cannot be disqualified from participating in future elections based on the grounds of owing allegiance unless new evidence emerges to prove otherwise.
Dr. Srem-Sai stated, “Now the evidence from the court, if you read the court decision, it was clear that he wasn’t even having dual citizenship at the time of the election because his certificate was issued somewhere in November 2020, which is one month before the actual election, and so from November 2020, he did not have dual citizenship.” He further added, “What this now means is that he is now eligible, in other words, he cannot be disqualified from running for another election on grounds that he owes allegiance, unless of course, there is new evidence to prove that he owes some form of allegiance or that any of the other disqualifying factors apply to him. If we are talking about this specific fact of the Canadian citizenship and what led to his removal from parliament, we can say that situation is no longer and therefore he is eligible to contest on that ground.”
In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, James Gyakye Quayson expressed his disappointment. He claimed that he renounced his Canadian citizenship as soon as he filed for renunciation in December 2019 because Canadian laws allow for the disavowal of allegiance once renunciation is filed. He also stated that he left Canada after applying for renunciation, thereby forfeiting all rights of Canadian citizenship even before obtaining his renunciation certificate from the Canadian Embassy in November 2020. Mr. Quayson thanked the people of Assin North for their support and the opportunity to serve, stating that he has moved on from the matter and entrusted it to the court of conscience.