Dr George Akuffo Dampare (right), Inspector General of Police, speaking at the meeting. With him is Jean Mensa (left), Chairperson, Electoral Commission.
Dr George Akuffo Dampare (right), Inspector General of Police, speaking at the meeting. With him is Jean Mensa (left), Chairperson, Electoral Commission.

December polls will be free, fair — EC boss

The Electoral Commission (EC) has pledged to deliver a free, fair and transparent election on December 7, given the high stakes, with the Police assuring to give the best of security that would ensure peace and order during the electoral process.  

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The Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa, who gave the assurance at a crucial meeting with a high-powered delegation of the Ghana Police Service, led by the Inspector-General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, in Accra yesterday stressed that although the stakes were high with the two main political parties determined to make history, the EC would be firm in handling the electoral process to deliver a verdict that would be accepted by all parties.

Again, she said with the support of the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies, the EC was confident that all eligible voters would cast their vote in a safe environment.

"The elections are crucial because of the breaking the eight mantra and the fact that the two candidates of the two leading political parties come from the same region; one is a former president and the other is a sitting Vice-President.

"The EC wants to assure Ghanaians that we will take every step to ensure a free, fair and transparent elections whose outcome would be accepted by all," he stressed.

Mrs Mensa said while the EC could best be described as "the midwife for delivering credible elections", the Commission needed a key institution such as the Ghana Police Service to maintain the peace and security of the country.

She said the collaboration between the police and the EC at the Kumawu and Assin Central by-elections gave credence to the fact that the two institutions could work for peaceful elections.

She called on the police to help the Commission with security during its activities - from the voter registration, exhibition of voters’ register, to the elections, to ensure that people do not disrupt the peace of the nation.

"Help us to protect our properties and also help to ensure that electoral offenders are swiftly prosecuted," she added.

Security

For his part, the IGP assured Ghanaians that personnel of the Ghana Police Service would provide the highest level of security to ensure the safety of every citizen during the December 7 polls.

He said the police were ready to work hand in hand with the EC to ensure that all issues relating to peace and order during the electoral process were handled promptly to ensure the most peaceful elections in the country’s history.

"If the EC is the midwife for ensuring free and fair elections, I want to say that the police and other security agencies are the midwives for ensuring peace and security during the elections; so if this set of midwives work together, Ghana will win in this year's election.

"We want to deliver an election that is safe and secure as never happened before in the country’s history," Dr Dampare said. 

Stakes

The IGP said given that the stakes were high for the upcoming elections, it was important for the EC officials and the security agencies to work closely to bridge all security gaps that could affect national stability.

He said the police had put in place a grand plan to manage security at all points of the electoral process.

"What we need from the EC is the election programme to revise our election security management.

We do not want to wait until a few months before we begin to think about election security management," he said.

In line with its commitment to enhance election security management, Dr Dampare said the police administration had established a directorate for election security.

"We view election as a process rather than an event, so managing election security must also be approached from that point.

 In view of this, we have been planning for the 2024 elections ahead of time and we need to review that plan as the days go by and that is why we are here to engage you," he said.

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He added that as the institution with the mandate to maintain law and order in the country, the police service would not sit aloof for some persons to disrupt the peace of the country during the electoral process.

"We are ready to work with the EC and other stakeholders to deliver a peaceful election whose outcome will be accepted by all," he said. 

Stakeholder consultation

Present at the meeting were some management members of the Commission, including the Deputy EC Commissioner in charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey; Deputy Commissioner in charge of Corporate Affairs, Dr Eric Asare Bossman.

The meeting was part of stakeholder consultations the EC began ahead of the 2024 elections and served as a platform for the two institutions to discuss the election calendar and the required security arrangements. 

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