By Aminata Camara Independent Election Commission (IEC) has conducted training with the Security Officers as part of activities leading to the National Assembly Election. The training, held at Tango Conference Hall on 23rd February, 2017, was aimed at sensitizing the members of the security services on their roles and responsibilities in the electoral process. The Chairman of the IEC acknowledged the securities for the good job they have done during the last presidential election. He said they have really demonstrated maturity and professionalism especially on polling day. He said the assurance of equitable security during an electoral process is essential to retaining the participants’ confidence and commitment to an election. He said security is both integral to the goal of an election and an inseparable part of the electoral process. “We can deduce that security is indispensible in the electoral process for without adequate security an election cannot be conducted freely and fairly. Security is vital at all stages and activities of the electoral process,” IEC Chairman said. He continued that security does not only apply to ensuring the safety and protection of lives and property but to the entire electoral process as well as protection of voters and the general public including all stakeholders in the electoral process. Chairman Njai asserted that police officers and other personnel who have the role of maintaining law and order as enshrined in section 178 of the constitution are deployed across the country to all polling stations. He said it is therefore important for each of them to have an understanding of the electoral process. He added that having an understanding of the electoral process would also better equip the security forces in helping conduct free and fair elections. “The IEC continues to make the clarion call that election is the business of all. In view of this, the commission wishes to fully collaborate with all stakeholders in the electoral process,” Chairman Njai noted. He said a free and fair election on one hand depends on freedom of speech, assembly, association, movement to participate in elections as enshrined in sections 25 and 26 of the constitution. On the other hand, he said free and fair election also depends on transparent electoral process, impartial electoral commission, equitable electoral legislation, equal opportunities for all participants, absence of intimidation, application of the proper procedures and acceptance of electoral results.]]>
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