Embattled Assin North Member of Parliament (MP) James Gyakye Quayson, on Thursday evening, stormed Parliament to participate in work of the House despite a court ruling that declared his seat vacant.
Mr Quayson participated in Parliament’s Privileges Committee meeting to deliberate on contempt proceedings against Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong.
Joy News sources at the closed-door meeting say New Patriotic Party MPs on the committee objected to his participation, insisting a court had declared him ineligible to hold himself out as MP.
But National Democratic Congress MPs insisted he can continue to hold himself out as such.
When asked about the developments during the committee sitting, Chairman of the Privileges Committee of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, said if there are any issues, the court processes could be used to determine them.
“This is a Privileges Committee. The Honourable member of the committee (James Gyakye Quayson) is not before the committee on any matter of contempt referred to us. Whatever there is, he is here as an MP.
“If there are any issues with that, I am sure the processes of the court will be used to determine that… So I encourage you to speak to him after you’ve spoken to us,” Mr Osei Owusu told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo.
Mr Quayson subsequently told Opoku Gakpo, in an interview, he is still an MP: “I have always said I respect law and order… I am still an MP based on the rules I have engaged in and also based on the legal proceedings and advice.
“The committee is also an extension of parliament. So I find it a bit ridiculing that anybody will say that I will not be able to sit in the committee,” he said.
The Cape Coast High Court ruled late last month that Mr Quayson held dual nationality when he filed his papers to contest the seat in contravention of the constitution. He has appealed the ruling and filed for a stay of execution.
He told Joy News, “the court directive is there, but also there is a process that you take after such pronouncements and rulings, and I have satisfied all the requirements. I am not going to get into details on that. But, based on processes that I have initiated, it gives me the opportunity to stay as MP for Assin North.
“And for that matter, any committee I belong to in parliament which is also an extension of parliament equally binds my membership, which is why I was in the meeting.”
When asked the justification for holding himself out as an MP despite the court ruling, he said, “there is a new law in effect that says once you file those processes, it automatically binds you into a position where it is almost as if it is heard….”
He is urging the people of Assin North to continue supporting him. “All I am saying to my people is that they should stay strong and maintain the support that they have given me. And as I have always said, I would never fail them. I have come purposely to uplift a very neglected community, and that is what I am here for,” Mr Quayson said.