Former President John Dramani Mahama says the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will seek to clarify the constitutional provision which bars persons with dual citizenship from holding political positions in Ghana.
Mr. Mahama expressed his belief that the court’s ruling prohibiting the Assin North MP from performing his duties as a Member of Parliament constitutes a violation of Ghana’s democracy and a denial of representation to his constituents.
The former president made these remarks in Tamale in his address to hundreds of National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, as part of his campaign tour in the Northern Region.
“We have seen the cardinal sin of the 4th Republic which is the disenfranchisement of the people of SALL. For one whole term, they have not had a member of parliament. Let’s put that aside, the people of Assin North elected a person to represent them in Parliament. This government has manipulated the judiciary in such a way that they have injuncted the MP for Assin North. So even though he is the elected member, he cannot perform the duties of an MP. That is a gross injustice and an affront to our democracy.
“But I want to assure the people of Ghana and James Gyakye Quayson, who is our MP for Assin North, that when NDC comes to power, we will clarify that constitutional provision that compels them to give up their foreign citizenship before they contest elections. A country’s human resource is its best resource. We happen to have three million of our citizens abroad, they have acquired skills and different talents. Why must we have a law that bars them when we have a dual citizenship law? We will clarify it, so they can come and stand for parliamentary seats and hold offices in Ghana, they don’t have to give up their other citizenships to be able to hold office,” he assured.
He also chastised the Akufo-Addo government for Ghana’s drop in the latest press freedom index.
“This government has been an abysmal failure. It is the worst government in the history of the 4th Republic. Not only have they mismanaged our economy, but their governance record is also poor. Just recently they released the press freedom index. Last year we fell by 30 places, this year we have fallen another 10 places down. It means that our media expression is in danger, journalists’ lives are in danger, and there are reports of torture and harassment of journalists. This used not to happen under NDC. Everybody had the freedom to express themselves under NDC. Unfortunately, those freedoms are being infringed upon by Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government,” Mr. Mahama slammed.
Embattled Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, is currently battling it out in court after he was accused of holding dual citizenship prior to contesting the 2020 election.
The court recently barred him from serving as an MP until the substantive case filed against him is brought to its logical conclusion.