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Ghana Police Promise Neutrality In Run Up To Election

A Ghana policeman watches Egypt's football team's practice in Kumasi, 23 January 2008, during the African Cup of Nations football championship.
Ghana’s police are reassuring prospective voters that well-trained officers will be deployed nationwide to ensure a peaceful general election Dec. 7.

Police spokesman Cephas Arthur said officers would remain politically neutral as they performed their duties in the run up to the presidential, legislative and local elections.

Some political parties have expressed concern that police might be biased, create tensions and cause violence, a worry Arthur rejected.

“There have been a few allegations and words of alarm thrown about to the effect that the police might be biased, all to discredit the police service and cause some disaffection for it in the run up to the election,” said Arthur. “We want to call on the general public, Ghanaians at home and those abroad, to disregard such allegations. There is no truth in them.”

The police, he emphasized, do not support any political party.

Arthur said officers “are committed to ensuring a peaceful election.”

“We are committed,” Arthur said, “to providing very stringent security to ensure that the elections are carried out in a peaceful atmosphere, and because of this a lot of things are being done to provide adequate security.”

He says police precautions also are designed to maintain the country’s stability.

“Personnel who have been selected for deployment on the [election] day are being taken through orientation to give them knowledge on the kind of exercise they are going to embark upon,” said Arthur.

Arthur said senior police officials have been touring the country as part of preparations to ensure security.

“We went to see the readiness of other election security task forces and also to augment their stock of equipment and to let them know that the national body is behind them. And that whatever they need to provide security for the election would be made available to them,” said Arthur.

Arthur said the police have been working closely with the political parties to encourage their supporters remain peaceful.

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