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18.02.2004 General News

Police would not be influenced by political parties-IGP

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Accra, Feb. 18, GNA- The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Nana Owusu Nsiah on Wednesday said the police administration would not allow itself to be influenced by any political party in the 2004 elections. He said the police would rather play a neutral role in the exercise of its constitutional obligation to ensure peace and stability. Nana Nsiah made these remarks when the police administration met with representatives of political parties to discuss how best the 2004 elections would be conducted in a free and fair manner.

He said the police would exhibit professionalism in their conduct, particularly during the campaign period, as well as the election day. Nana Nsiah said the police also envisage to perform better in this year than they did in the previous elections.

He said although the onus lied on the police to ensure peace, its achievements largely depended on the way the political parties, the media and the electorate conducted themselves.

Nana Owusu urged political parties to add certain amount of decorum to their campaign messages so that they do not inflame passions.

"I charge Members of Parliament to exhibit the unity that demonstrate towards their political oponents in parliament during campaign, to tell the supporters that to belong to one political divide does not mean we are enemies".

He noted that the police would neither discriminate nor be bias towards any political party adding " The police will go every length to protect lives and property in the forthcoming elections"

When the representatives of the various political parties took their turn, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Youth Organiser commended the police for the professional manner in which they have so far conducted themselves in ensuring peace and stability.

He said as a party they would ensure that their campaign messages are issue-centred rather than attacking personalities.

Mr Haruna urged the police to exhibit neutrality in the exercise of their duty and ensure that they are not swayed by the powers that be. Dr. Nii Noi Dowuona, CPP general Secretary called on the police to endeavour to prevent the presence of so called "MACHO" men at voting centres, because they scare the electorate and create unnecessary tension.

Nii Ayitey Boafo, NPP Greater Accra Regional secretary said the party would continue to ensure that democracy survives and thrives in the country.

All the political parties came to a consensus to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections so that democracy becomes the winner at the end.

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