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13.10.2008 Politics

Police will maintain peace at all times -Commander.

By gna

The Western Regional Police Commander, Mr Mohammed A. Alhassan said the expectations of the public on the role of Policing were high in the pending elections.

He said “we cannot fail but to deliver, and we must maintain the existing peace in the country, before, during and after the elections”.

The Commander who is also a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) said “the success of the pending elections to a large extent will depend on the conduct of the various security agencies and the recent concerns raised by society on safety and security must be allayed by our professionalism”.

DCOP Alhassan said these at the opening of a two-day training programme for all the security agencies in the Western and Central Regions on 'Election Monitoring and Policing” for Police Commanders and members of the National, Regional and District Security Task Force at Takoradi.

He said security personnel should exhibit a high sense of duty to continue to re-assure the voters and the general public that their safety and security was guaranteed.

Mr Stephen Opoku-Mensah, Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC) said electoral offences and malpractices were still punishable and urged the security agencies not to hesitate to act swiftly.

He said minors and other persons who attempt to vote or others who attempt to engage in double voting and registration will be arrested and prosecuted.

Mr Opoku-Mensah said the various political parties must adequately educate their members to co-exist with others belonging to other political parties.

He said operators of drinking spots within 500 metres of a polling centre, will be advised to close down on election day to prevent drunkenness and its attendant problems.

Mr George A. Naykene, Western Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association speaking on the theme “Handling the Media in Elections” said the roles of the media in elections usually start years ahead.

He said the media keeps on following the entire electoral process and climaxes it on elections day and there was the need for all to know and value the media for this sustained role.

Mr Naykene said fraud, cheating, abuse of the electoral processes, intimidation and other acts, will be critically monitored by the media to safeguard peace, before, during and after the election.

He urged the media to study the electoral processes carefully to enrich their writings and improve on the general coverage of the elections.

Mr Naykene urged the media to respect the legitimate police order to keep clear from particular scenes and appealed to the Police to respect the constitutional responsibilities of the media practitioners to the general public at all times.

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