Former President John Dramani Mahama says when given the nod, the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will amend the constitution to enable dual citizens to be able to go to Parliament.
“When NDC comes to power, we are going to clarify that constitutional provision that compels them [dual citizens] to give up their foreign citizenship before they contest elections.”
“A country’s human resource is its best resource, and we [Ghana] happen to have about three million of our citizens abroad, they have acquired experience, they have acquired different talents. And why should we have a law that says that if you going to be an MP [Member of Parliament] in Ghana, you must give up your dual citizenship, meanwhile we have a dual citizenship law.
The former president, said the injunction placed on the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Gyekye Quayson, from carrying out himself as a Member of Parliament amounts to “injustice and an affront to Ghana’s democracy which has deprived the constituents of representation in Parliament.”
He made these statements in Tamale where he addressed 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.
“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.