2 August 2017

Liberia: Political Parties Getting Police Details

The Liberia National Police (LNP) has begun assigning police officers to all political parties taking part in the October Representative and Presidential elections.

Addressing representatives of over 15 of the 26 registered political parties Monday, Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman said three officers will be assigned to each political party, noting that the move is intended to create a free environment for citizens to exercise their rights equally.

The deployment, Coleman added, is to avoid violence as in the past, recalling the Congress for Democratic Change November 8, 2011 situation that resulted in the death of one person.

Coleman stressed that the deployment is to also ensure the protection of the peace in the country.

"The rule of law must be respected and the rights of citizens must also be respected, we wouldn't allow any political party to disobey the rule of law," the Police boss stressed.

"The deployed Police officers are not spies, but they are there to improve the line of com

"These officers aren't dependent on the political parties, the government and partners are providing resources and starting from today they will receive their DSA (Daily Sustenance Allowance) for this month," he explained.

Meanwhile, Inspector General Coleman is warning against the tearing of political party banners and flyers by opposition parties, noting that it is unacceptable and should be discouraged by all.

He, however, said that "the LNP prohibits putting posters on public space and we wouldn't accept it, also all political parties must avoid abusing the public space, we all must respect each other during and after the election."

Coleman called on political parties to utilize the expertise of officers assigned to them, adding that those assigned are expert officers, noting that 'They are present and past commanders at the LNP."

He disclosed that Police officers will be at political rallies to make sure that citizens' rights are well-respected.

He emphasized that all party members must abide by the rule of law in maintaining the peace in the country.

"All political parties must respect the view of other parties; respect the rights of other political parties," police chief Coleman pointed out.

He added that any political party which does not abide to rule of law will be dealt with.

The Police chief warned political party private security to avoid wearing military uniform, observing that this could breed conflict between such group and state security personnel.

On the usage of motorcycles, he noted that the 10 pm restriction is binding as the usage of campaign bikes will have limits.

"If we restrict the motorcyclists, it will be unfair to those parties who can't afford vehicles, so we will have regulations of limits and designated areas," he however added.

"We are only calling on parties to clearly mark their motorcycles to avoid confrontations with the officers of the LNP," Coleman said.

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