A letter issued to a political Party denying permit on security grounds which frustrated the holding of their rally is still receiving public disapproval as Foroyaa did a vox pop just to know what the public mind is on the subject. Many expressed their disapproval while a few gave the benefit of the doubt to the police indicating that they may have acted in that way to protect the security of the country.
This calls for re-examination of police /political party relation. The question now arises: Should a registered political party be denied a permit on security ground and still remain registered as a party?
That would be extremely strange. In short, Section 60 of the Constitution states that “no association shall be registered or remain registered as a political party if it is formed or organized on an ethnic, sectional, religious or regional basis; its internal organisation does not conform to democratic principles and its purpose is to subvert the constitution or the rule of law.”
Hence if there is any evidence that a political party has subversive aims, it must be produced and tendered so that it would be deregistered. Denial of permit to a party amounts to deregistration. The police have rights to beef up security if they suspect any security threats. Suspicion that leads to denial of rights amounts to arbitrariness in law enforcement and impunity.
Hence the proper thing to do is for the police to treat all registered political parties as lawful entities, map out all the traditional places for holding political rallies in all regions and urban centres and issue permits without any hindrance when such parties indicate their desire to hold meetings in such places unless exceptional circumstances dictate the contrary.