As the Police PRO clears the air, it appears that police political party relationship will now be put on a new footing.
The police and the security forces are expected to be neutral in fulfilling their duty to the nation. Political parties are instruments of leadership. Each is entitled to put its programme before the people to seek their mandate. Hence the police and the security forces should not put any obstacle before any political party to enable them to carry out their normal political activities.
The PRO, when challenged whether they had a standing policy to ban UDP from having a permit to address their supporters, said without equivocation that the police has no power to ban any registered political party from conducting its normal political activities including holding political rallies. Quizzed on whether there are no denials of permits, the PRO indicated that he knows it for a fact that the UDP is issued a permit to hold a rally on 27 September 2014.
We hope that the NGOs like Tango in collaboration with the embassies would sponsor conferences between the police commissioners of all divisions, NIA, IEC and the political parties on the administration of the Public Order Act by the police in terms of holding political sensitisation campaigns, rallies and processions. This should set the country on a new footing in terms of police /political party relations.