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16.03.2012 Politics

National Election Security Task Force Gears Up For Action

By Albert K. Salia - Daily Graphic
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A calender of events for implementation by the National Election Security Task Force has been approved to ensure that the country remains safe and intact after the December 7, election.

Arrangements have also been put in place to deal with complaints, investigations, the security of ballot boxes and other issues that may crop up before, during and after the elections.

ALL, therefore, seems set for the inauguration of the National Election Security Task Force by the end of April this year.

Besides communication gadgets for the personnel to be on duty, equipment that will enable members of the National Election Security Task Force to monitor the elections, particularly all the trouble-spots, is expected to be installed at the Police Headquarters by September 2012.

Desk Officers to receive complaints, investigate complaints and also monitor the status of complaints are also to be appointed as part of the measures.

Although the Task Force, which is chaired by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, is yet to be inaugurated, a series of meetings to discuss the requisite measures and logistical requirements needed to provide a desirable environment for a smooth and successful elections have been held.

The IGP told the Daily Graphic yesterday that all regional and district police commands are to submit their elections plan in line with the peculiar challenges they face to the National Task Force by the end of this month to be fed into the overall national plan to ensure peaceful elections.

He said an operational meeting have already being held with sister security agencies and the Electoral Commission to discuss the way forward.

He said the sister security agencies are currently working on the number of personnel they could make available for the elections to enable the police examine how to deploy them.

Mr Quaye said it should be borne in mind that the Ghana Police Service is the lead agency in the election task force and, therefore, all the personnel from the other security agencies will be working under the directives of the police.

He explained that mob-exercises will be undertaken to ensure the readiness of the security agencies for the elections.

Throwing more light on the national election security task force, Commissioner of Police (COP), Mr John Kudalor said the task force will be meeting political parties and other stakeholders to discuss electoral issues with them.

He said the police have already met some of the civic organisations to deliberate on concerns and how to address them before, during and after the elections.

Mr Kudalor, who is the Director of Police Operations, said concerns regarding the effectiveness of the police on election day have been discussed and gave the assurance that “we will not only be on the ground but very effective as well”.

With regards to the selective investigation and prosecution of cases, he said the desk officers were expected to collate the data of cases for analysis and monitor their status.

He said as part of the measures, the Election Security Task Forces will be independent of the regional and district security committees to check the incidence of interference.

“We will not be considering the shades and colours of electoral offenders but will treat all as equal. This time, it is action and we will prove that to all Ghanaians and the rest of the world”, he said.

Mr Kudalor said it was in line with that the task forces will be engaging the political parties and the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in particular, the EC and other stakeholders at the national, regional and local levels to ensure that fair grounds are provided to all stakeholders.

He, however, charged the leadership and rank and file of all political parties to equally stand to the test since they equally had a bigger responsibility to play within the rules of engagement”.

Mr Kudalor not only described this year’s elections as crucial but that there was more pressure for Ghana to come out of this year’s election more together than divided in view of the recent bad experiences in a number of African countries as far as elections were concerned.

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