The fate of the embattled New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Fomena in the Ashanti Region, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, hangs in the balance as there appears no clear provisions for action to be taken against him as his party demands from the Speaker.
The governing party wants “appropriate action taken” against the first term MP after he filed to contest as an independent candidate in the December general election.
According to the NPP, any member of the party who supports or campaigns for an independent parliamentary candidate ahead of the polls “automatically forfeits his or her membership”.
In a communiqué to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, to inform him of the decision of the party to sack Mr Asiamah from the party by virtue of going solo, the party said that decision flies in the face of Article 3(9) of the party’s constitution.
According to the party, quitting the party while being a Member of Parliament was in contravention of the 1992 Constitution.
It said Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution states that, “A Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he leaves the party of which he was a member at the time to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an independent member.
In this regard the party’s communiqué, signed by its General Secretary, John Boadu, is demanding action against the MP.
“The party has therefore taken the necessary steps to inform [you] the Speaker of Parliament of the above circumstances, for appropriate action to be taken [against Hon Andrew Amoako Asiamah].
The Ghanaian Times’ sources in Parliament have confirmed that the Speaker has received the communiqué.
It is however unclear, if the Fomena seat could be declared vacant since the MP’s independent candidature is for a future election to Parliament and has no bearing on the current Parliament as constituted.
A highly placed source in the House explained to the Ghanaian Times that the seat cannot be declared vacant because the embattled MP has not crossed carpet and has also not declared to remain independent in the current house.
His actions, our source said, may be in contravention of the NPP’s constitution but not that of the Republic.
Should he, however, be removed by virtue of a superior legal position, the people of Fomena will remain without a representation till January 7, 2021 before an election can be held to elect a new MP.
This is because, per Article 112(6) of the 1992 Constitution, “a by-election shall not be held within three months before the holding of the general election”.
Mr Asiamah said problems began when he was aggrieved by the processes leading to the organisation of the NPP’s parliamentary primaries to elect candidates for 2020 general election.
He opted out of the primaries and declared his intention to contest the general elections as an independent candidate.
He carried through his intent and has since filed his papers with the Electoral Commission seeking re-election in the December 7 elections as an independent candidate.
This week, the NPP initiated moves against Mr Asiamah, to have his parliamentary seat declared vacant after he filed to contest as an independent candidate in the upcoming polls.
He has since filed his papers with the Electoral Commission to seek reelection in the December 7 election as an independent candidate.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI