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General News of Thursday, 8 September 2016


Early identification of flashpoints good omen for Ghana – Sowatey

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana’s identification of 81 constituencies out of the 275 as possible violent-prone areas well ahead of the December 7 polls is a good omen for Ghana’s peace, Emmanuel Sowatey, a security expert, has said.

The chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, speaking at a national colloquium on the security of the upcoming general election at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre at Teshie on Wednesday September 7, announced the identification of the flashpoints.

She revealed the EC had started a project, together with the Ghana Police Service, to map out all the polling stations in the country, especially those within the flashpoints, to ensure adequate security at all polling centres and the EC’s regional offices.

Mrs Osei charged political leaders to take responsibility for the actions of their supporters to ensure a peaceful and transparent general election.

She further announced that policemen would be present during the printing of the ballot papers and also escort them to the polling centres. That, she said, was to ensure that there was adequate security at all polling centres.

She also gave an assurance that there would be adequate materials to ensure a smooth voting process.

Speaking in relation to this matter in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Thursday September 8, Mr Sowatey indicated that the early identification of the flash points presents a priceless opportunity for the security agencies to up their game in their preparations towards the polls.

He added that it would help police to decide which areas need more security officers to protect lives and properties before, during, and after the elections.

He said: “…The good news is that once you see the indicators early, you have adequate time to look for the actors (and) to look for ways to contain it. Normally the flashpoints have different levels of intensity… I don’t know what went into the categorisation of the flashpoint…but we have different categories and those categories could cut across the constituencies.

“[And so] it also helps because you can prepare ahead. It helps the security agencies know the number of police officers to be deployed to particular areas during the elections.”