Politics Mon, 10 Nov 2008

Election success depends on security agencies- EC official

Cape Coast, Nov. 10, GNA - The Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Samuel Tettey on Monday charged security agencies in the Central Region to be on their guard since the success of the December election depends largely on them. Speaking at a workshop organized by the EC for the regional election security taskforce dubbed "Exercise Peace Angel", Mr Tettey noted that security men are to escort election materials to polling stations, keep order at these stations and arrest electoral offenders. He told the security personnel not to get involved in the electoral process, stressing that "you can't take part in counting and application of indelible ink, you only act upon instructions from the Presiding Officer".

He also told the participants that candidates and their spouses have the right to be present at the polling stations and should not be driven away, adding that, accredited media personnel are also eligible to be present for observation and reportage. Mr Tettey urged them to endeavour to be punctual to duty on the day of the election, and also beef up their numbers at the collation centres where the results are going to be declared. He reiterated that a special voting day had been scheduled for security personnel on December 2 and asked those who have to transfer their votes to do so because the process was underway. The Regional Security Coordinator, Air Commodore Richard Awuku also charged the security men to be alert and stay focused, to avoid being influenced by politicians, particularly in the face of accusations that the EC was on the side of government, and accusations that the voters registers is bloated.

He called on other security agencies such as the prisons, fire, immigration and the customs, excise and preventive services, to assist the police in ensuring a smooth conduct of the election. The Chairman of the Regional Election Security Taskforce, DCOP Akayire Kamparah, who is also the regional police commander, stressed that, the main purpose of the workshop was to help the security agencies rehearse on how to maintain law and order before, during and after elections. He however assured Ghanaians that, the security agencies do not envisage for any problems, but will rise to the task in case of any eventuality.
Source: GNA