Regional News of Sun, 25 Jan 20040

Cooperate with Police - Political Parties urged

Apam, Jan 25, GNA - The Apam District Police Commander, Mr. Kwasi Asare Baffuor, has called on political parties to cooperate with the Police in observing the rules regarding the issuance of permits for public activities such as rallies and demonstrations.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Asare Baffuor said under the Public Order Act, applications for a permit for any public event should be received five days before the date.

He was addressing a meeting with representatives of political parties in the area to discuss how to ensure a peaceful elections year. ASP Asare Baffuor said the Police had the right to suggest rescheduling or relocating events if they were found to have the potential of creating security problems.

He said the Police should not be seen as taking sides in such an event.

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Representatives of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), officials of the National Electoral Commission and the media attended the meeting. Mr. Asare Baffuor gave the assurance that permits would be issued on "first come, first serve basis" and urged the parties to submit their quarterly programme of activities to be forwarded to the Regional Police Commander.

He cautioned against the infiltration of parties by opponents to cause trouble and using children to remove or deface posters of political opponents.

The Police Commander advised the leadership of the parties to ensure that people who spoke on their platforms used decent language and did not cast insinuations against their opponents.

They should also ensure that their members were disciplined especially at political rallies and to sanction those who misbehaved. He appealed to the media to be circumspect in their reporting and handling phone-in programme and urged officials of the Electoral Commission to ensure neutrality.

Source: GNA

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