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Ghana Police Prepare for December Vote

  • Peter Clottey

Ghana’s police have stepped up preparations to strengthen security in the run up to the December 7 presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Spokesman Cephas Arthur said the police will soon launch a campaign to educate prospective voters to ensure a peaceful vote devoid of violence. He said the police have been gathering intelligence that should help reduce any possible threats before the December vote.

“We are doing a lot ahead of the election,” Arthur said. “We started preparations from the periphery, where we started putting in certain important elements. We have shifted our preparations into high gear and now we are down to the nitty-gritties of preparation.”

Arthur said the police have been taking precautions to prevent any acts that could undermine the election as well as the country’s stability.

He also said that they are working with other security organizations to improve security.

"We have, even before October, got the personnel strength of our sister security agencies who are coming to support us already and this shows how serious we are about these elections," he said.

Arthur said police also have been working on a campaign to educate Ghanaians ahead of the elections. He said the police played a key role in cooperating with the National Commission on Civic Education by printing voting instruction materials.

"We are just about to launch our educational drive to educate the public," Arthur said. "We have been going on the air to radio and TV stations to educate the public about what they should do.”

“We are coming out with handbills and flyers to educate the public about what the police do on election day, because sometimes the impression is created as if everything at the polling station is under the control of the police," he added.

Opposition parties have often accused the police of bias - an accusation Arthur sharply rejects. He admits, however, that there is a perception that the police favor one party over another.

“We have engaged the populace and the political parties on this issue,” said Arthur. “If the recent biometric registration is anything to go by, we have an instance where the opposition blamed the police for being on the side of the government and another instance where the government had an axe to grind with the police, demonstrating police neutrality.”