The Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency, James Gyakye Quayson, has denied sharing money during the Assin North by-elections in June.
James Gyakye Quayson, who was the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for the Assin North by-election emerged victorious in the polls.
At the end of the by-election on June 27, 2023, Mr. Quayson polled 17,245 votes representing 57.56 percent of the total votes cast to beat Charles Opoku of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and Bernice Enyonam Sefenu of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG).
Charles Opoku polled 12,630 votes representing 42.15 percent of the total votes cast in the hotly contested by-election while the LPG’s Bernice Enyonam Sefenu polled a paltry 87 votes (0.29%).
Gyakye Quayson, who won the seat in the 2020 polls with 17,498 votes, was kicked out of Parliament for having dual citizenship prior to filing his nomination forms.
The Assin North seat became vacant after the Supreme Court ordered Parliament to expunge Gyakye Quayson’s name from its records in a ruling on May 17.
The Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Quayson was not qualified to contest the 2020 parliamentary election in the Assin North Constituency at the time he filed his nomination forms on October 9, 2020.
Prior to the by-election, there were counter-accusations of vote-buying by the New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress (NDC), during the by-elections.
But speaking in an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu, on Citi TV’s Face to Face, Mr Quayson rubbished claims that he gave out money to voters to influence their voting pattern.
According to him, the items shared amongst voters were geared towards their needs, adding that they had already made a request before the by-election.
“I never gave out money for votes, if I gave anything, it was logistics geared towards the needs of the people. I gave out machetes for their farms and weedicides. I don’t call that vote buying. These are items I wish I could get for them, maybe the timing. If it’s the timing you are talking about, I don’t even think it’s a problem. Even last week, we got some Wellington boots and weedicides from the government’s Common Fund, and I went to distribute them. In fact, I just came back just yesterday.”
“We have to explain the process and how certain things happen. Consider an MP who has been restricted for over a year, 14 months to be precise. Until the time of the by-elections, April 2022 until June 2023. My engagement with them could even be perceived as breaching the law. Don’t carry yourself as an MP, and suddenly the opportunity avails itself, there was a by-election. The people had already expressed some of the things they needed, I will never give them what they don’t need”.
The Assin North MP stated that the items he dashed out to the voters were things he had listed to give to his constituents.
“I had a list of communities that needed boreholes, community centres and all the items they needed, so I focused on those lists. For the past 14 months, I couldn’t do it, and I said here is my list, this is what I can do for the people”.