The Electoral Commission of Ghana under the Chairmanship of Mrs Charlotte Osei is hot. The Commission came under intense pressure as parties demanded strict proof to the claims of a compromised election results transmission network in the December 2016 polls at an IPAC meeting.
In the last publication of May 23, 2017, TNF reported of an impending Inter-Party Advisory Committee, IPAC meeting which was to take place on Wednesday, 24th of May. Indeed the meeting took place at the EC’s conference room instead of the usual IPAC conference room.
The parties have additionally demanded of the Commission to strictly keep to time and timelines in the calendar of activities in executing their mandate.
Instead of 11:00am prompt when the meeting was scheduled by the Commission to commence, the Commissioners including the Chairman got seated after 11:30am. That was 30 minutes late.
Some party representatives got to the Commission as early as 10:20 only to realise that the Commission had not even prepared the venue for the meeting. Staff of the Commission who were to register attendees were not present.
Eventually it was upon the attempt at preparing and setting the place up for the meeting that they suddenly realised that the Air Conditioners were not working well consequently leading to a relocation of the meeting.
Last year in the heat of the immediate post-election results release by the EC, there was the announcement of a compromised network for the transmission of results nationwide. The announcement came as shock to many watchers as the EC had assured parties of a robust and reliable network procured to transmit results from across the country.
Some IT experts TNF spoke to revealed that there can be only two ways by which a system or software could be compromised. Either there is system malfunction or an attack on the system’s software which could be by hacking.
Party representatives were unanimous in demanding exactly what happened as some doubted if there was indeed a compromise at all. Others alluded to a malfunction or ‘calling wolf where there was none’ scenario by the Commission.
This is the first time since 1992 that the EC decided against periodic or build-up release of Presidential Election results which left every citizen in a vacuum and at the mercy of independent media reports or political party press conferences.
The situation nearly marred the whole process as contesting parties employed all manner of means to assure their followers of how good the results looked for them. The conflicting accounts almost created doubts regarding the Commission’s claim of waiting for all certified results before it could declare the winner.