The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has alleged the addition of what he calls “strange names” to the voters’ register to be used in Tuesday’s by-election in the Assin North constituency in the Central Region.
According to him, the National Democratic Congress has identified disparities in the voters list used in the 2020 elections and what has been provided by the Electoral Commission for the by-election on June 27, 2023.
Making the revelation on MetroTV’s Good Morning Ghana show on Friday, Mr. Ablakwa noted that after the 2020 general elections, there has been no new registration, and therefore wondered why the register should change for that matter.
The Member of Parliament stated, “Would you believe that strange names have found their way into the register when you compare the 2020 register which was used for the voting to the current register?
“There hasn’t been any new registration; first time voters have not been registered. So how is it that if you take the electoral register, we are seeing addition, strange names? It is one of the major issues we are going to deal with latter today.”
He mentioned a number of polling stations in the Assin North constituency that have additional names added to them, something he described as a “very troubling development”.
“I call on the Electoral Commission to immediately call all the parties to reconcile the data…and explain why this is happening,” he requested.
He said the party is expected to meet the Electoral Commission on the issue today.
The Assin North parliamentary seat became vacant following a Supreme Court ruling on May 17 that instructed Parliament to expunge Mr. James Gyakye Quayson’s name from its records after years of legal battle challenging his legitimacy as the elected Member of Parliament for Assin North in the 2020 elections.
It would be recalled that immediately after being sworn into office as the MP for the area, one Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, a teacher and resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region, filed a petition at the Cape Coast High Court seeking to invalidate the declaration of Mr. Quayson as the MP for Assin North.
The Cape Coast High Court upheld Mr. Akomah-Nimfah’s petition, ruling that Mr. Quayson’s dual citizenship breached constitutional provisions.
Consequently, the court declared the 2020 parliamentary election in the Assin North Constituency null and void.
On May 17, the Supreme Court upheld the Cape Coast High Court’s decision and instructed Parliament to expunge Mr. Quayson’s name from its records.
Following the declaration of the Assin North seat as vacant by Parliament on May 30, the Electoral Commission scheduled a by-election in the constituency for June 27.
The NDC has chosen to nominate Mr. Gyakye Quayson as their candidate for the by-election whilst the governing New Patriotic Party has settled on Mr. Charles Opoku.
Though other people are aspiring to contest the seat, Tuesday’s election would be a two-horse race between Quayson and Opoku of NDC and NPP respectively.