Home / News /  James Gyakye Quayson, the only MP sworn in twice in the same parliament 

 James Gyakye Quayson, the only MP sworn in twice in the same parliament 

When Members of Parliament of the 8th Parliament of Ghana took their Oaths of Office in the early hours of January 8, 2021, amidst all the widely-reported issues that happened on the floor of the Chamber, none quite imagined a day would come when they would be making history.

The history in Ghana’s parliament is that while there have been many instances where bye-elections have been held, allowing for new entrants to be sworn into office to serve their respective constituents, what happened with James Gyakye Quayson is the first.

In the normal order of things in the Parliament of Ghana, when there have been needs to for bye-elections, they have been occasioned by the deaths of sitting Members of Parliament, just as the recent case of Kumawu was when their sitting MP, Philip Basoah, died.

That was the first bye-elections of 2023, and by extension, of the 8th parliament, but in the case of the second one, which saw the National Democratic Congress’ James Gyakye Quayson re-run for the Assin North seat, was not occasioned by a death.

Rather, the MP had to go back to seek the votes of his constituents in order to occupy the seat he was sworn into office in January 2021 for, because of a legal tussle that concluded that his election was unconstitutional.

James Gyakye Quayson had been dragged to the Supreme Court by a private citizen over claims that as at the time he run for the parliamentary elections of 2020, he had a dual citizenship with Ghana and Canada.

The ruling of the apex court on May 17, 2023, in a unanimous decision, was that parliament should expunge the name of the NDC man, on the basis that the Electoral Commission acted wrongly in not allowing Quayson to provide evidence that he had renounced his Canadian citizenship.

With time, plans had to quickly be put in place to organise a bye-election for Assin North, and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stuck to their man, James Quayson.

Going head-to-head with the New Patriotic Party’s Charles Opoku as the main contenders in the elections, the brief campaign season in the constituency saw perhaps, the most fiercely contended campaign for a bye-election in many years in the country.

And it was to be expected that the likes of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and former president and current flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, and other very highly-placed political leaders of both parties ‘stormed’ the place to campaign.

In the end, the people of Assin North once again gave the nod to James Gyakye Quayson, sealing what was done in 2020, and making him a historical figure in Ghana’s parliament.

By winning this election and having been officially sworn into office on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, the MP becomes the first person to have ever, technically, become a Member of Parliament of the same constituency twice in the same parliament.

In congratulating his colleague after he was sworn in as the MP for Assin North, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, wrote “Congratulations Hon. James Gyakye Quayson — the only MP in the entire parliamentary history of the Gold Coast and Ghana to be sworn-in twice in a term of Parliament.”

And like many others, the swearing-in of James Gyakye Quayson has brought a lot of people joy, especially in the NDC, with plans in play to see a victory celebration in Assin North over the coming weekend.

Although all the troubles James Gyakye Quayson faced in court are not over, as he is currently also facing a criminal case by the state at an Accra High Court.

While that persists, the NDC continues to celebrate what is described by many as one of the many strides in the party’s confidence in winning the 2024 general elections.

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