Campaign strategies are getting quite intensified in the wake of the Assin North Constituency by-election to be held on June 27.
Many stalwarts of the two major political parties seeking to capture the seat have taken turns in almost discrediting each other’s achievement within the constituency, while also questioning each other’s candidate’s effectiveness when given power.
President Akufo-Addo has been on top of the news after strongly engaging in what many have described as partisan politics when he spoke at the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) final rally ahead of the by-election.
According to him, the constituents should not vote for the opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, James Gyakye Quayson in the wake of a court trial he is facing.
The president campaigned that the aforementioned candidate could end up in jail given the gravity of the charges leveled against him, adding that he could not have performed his duties if placed behind bars.
“We should not support or vote for individuals who are entangled in legal controversies that may eventually lead them to face imprisonment.”
“We need someone who can come and help you. Someone who will work in your interest. I heard Gyakye Quayson say that even in prison, you people will vote for him, can he work from jail?
“We vote for people to go to Parliament to work, how can he work from prison? So don’t vote for someone who will end up in jail, vote for someone who can work to improve your lives,” President Akufo-Addo said.
His comments have since been met with criticism from various experts. Some have explained that as a president, he ought not to have spoken the way he did.
According to others, the president seems to be passing judgment on a case yet to be determined. This, they say could exacerbate the dwindling confidence in the country’s judicial system.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has also denied allegations of being behind Mr. Gyakye Quayson’s prosecution, adding that he has never interfered in the affairs of the country’s judicial system since he took over as the president.
James Gyakye Quayson, a candidate for the NDC, recently lost his position as the constituency’s member of parliament after a court determined that he ran for the seat in the 2020 election while holding dual citizenship, which is a status that is illegal for anyone to hold if they want to occupy a public office, according to the law.
The court also decided that the hearing will take place daily in order to decide the case. This rule holds despite a request by Mr. Quayson that the hearing should be conducted after the by-election.
A section of the public has since expressed their displeasure at the ruling, as some believe the court is being unfair towards the NDC’s candidate.
But the court has indicated that the charges leveled against the candidate are serious and could spell a jail term for him, hence their refusal to grant his postponement request.