Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has cautioned his opposite number, Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson, to tread cautiously.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had cause to chastize Ato Forson on the floor of the House on June 6, 2023 when MPs returned to work when the Minority Leader made a submisssion on election violence in the wake of upcoming Assin North by-election.
“As a country, we are yet to overcome the blot in our democratic governance arising from the unprecedented violence meted out to innocent civilians by the party packs in uniform at Awayso West Wuogon.
“That is why we wish and say that the chairperson of the EC must demonstrate her neutrality as an unbiased umpire, and the IGP must prove that he is indeed responsible for the domestic security of the country,” Ato Forson said in his welcome address.
The comments did not sit well with the Majority Leader who pointed out that the reference to Ayawaso West Wuogon was at best needless because more violence was unleashed in Chereponi by-election which inured to the benefit of the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He said Ato Forson’s reference was also needless because the most recent by-election in Kumawu was peaceful.
“One hopes that the Assin North by-election will follow that (Kumawu) trajectory. But for my colleague to say that we should not let what Awayawso West Wuogon happen again in the next by-election to me I think is not a statement that ought to have been made.
“If you are talking about the most violent by-election that we have had in this country, it was at Chereponi when seven people were shot at point blank by an operative from the castle,” he noted.
On the point about electoral violence during by-elections, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu fired a caution: “don’t go there. You are a newly baptised minority leader, you have not been confirmed yet as minority leader.”
The Supreme Court of Ghana recently issued a ruling that declared James Gyakye Quayson’s election as a Member of Parliament in 2020 as unconstitutional, null, and void.
According to the Supreme Court, Gyakye Quayson held Canadian citizenship at the time of filing his nomination as the NDC’s parliamentary candidate in 2020.
The court’s ruling led the Clerk of Parliament to declare the Assin North seat vacant.
Subsequently, the Electoral Commission has scheduled a by-election in Assin North for June 27, 2023, following the declaration by the Clerk.
Meanwhile, the NDC has stated its intention to re-present Gyakye Quayson as its candidate for the upcoming election, despite a criminal process brought against him in relation to his 2020 election contest.