Former President John Dramani Mahama is demanding answers from the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana concerning the alleged hacking into the election management body’s IT system which prompted a halt of the electronic transmission of results in the 2016 election.
Mr Mahama believes a full probe is needed with the implementation of counter-measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future as the 2020 general elections approach.
“During the last Presidential Election in Ghana, the Electoral Commission directed its staff to stop using the electronic result transmission system to communicate results to the tallying centre because the system had been compromised.
“The results had to, therefore, be tallied manually, leading to attendant tensions in the delay of the announcement of the final results.
“As I speak, I am not aware that the Electoral Commission has carried out any investigation into what compromised their IT system. And even if they have, we, the stakeholders, the political parties, have not been briefed on what caused the corruption of the system.
“In the interest of transparency, it is important for Ghanaians to understand what happened before we go into another election,” Mahama said on Friday, 10 May 2019 at the Distinguished Speaker Seminar at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University, UK.
Mr Mahama was, however, glad that elections have improved generally in Africa “from the era of steel ballot boxes and district counting centres”.
He added that in past electoral systems, the citizens’ duty was to turn out to vote while the rest of the process from counting to declaration of results were done out of the sight of the electorate.
The former Ghanaian leader, however, said: “Electoral systems have improved since then, with innovations such as vote counting in-situ, biometric registers, verification machines, allowance for the observation of elections by party agents, civil society and international observers. This has improved the integrity of elections and lessened disputes”.