Former President John Mahama
It has emerged that former Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Charlotte Osei was on the verge of breaching the terms of transmitting results of the 2016 elections, which could have plunged the country into an avoidable strife.
Following the claim by former President John Dramani Mahama that the EC used the manual transmission of results and the electronic mode among other integrity charges, there have been a number of responses, all of which have been anything but inuring to the quality of the commission’s performance during the 2016 contest.
Both directors of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and People’s National Convention (PNC) have made revealing statements which suggest that Mrs. Osei nearly contravened the terms of the agreement on how to transmit the results.
Faxed Transmission Not Electronic
Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah, then Director of Elections of the NPP, in his reaction on Oman FM, an Accra-based radio station yesterday, said that parties and the EC agreed upon on the faxed mode of transmission.
That Charlotte Osei sought to rely on the electronic mode of transmitting results suggested that she was on her own and ready to renege on the terms of the agreement on the subject, he said.
“We all met on the issue of transmission of results, including the then Director Of Elections of the EC Samuel Tettey, Ken Ofori-Atta, John Attafuah, former head of Airports Authority. We agreed on the faxed mode of transmission,” he said.
Close to Elections
Mr. Korsah recalled that the issue of the mode of transmission of the results cropped up three weeks to elections, adding “we wrote to Mac Manu on the subject. I am yet to come to terms about why she wanted to throw away the faxed system.”
He said “we called for a discussion about the modalities for the transmission of election. She told us about two companies she was going to engage for the electronic transmission but we said no. We said the results must be declared at the polling stations and transmitted from there with the appropriate signatures.”
He added that “we were shown a presentation on the electronic transmission, but we settled upon the manual transmission. It was unclear the motive for the electronic transmission as suggested by Charlotte Osei.”
Hacked Results Allegation
Turning to the allegation of hacking of the electoral system, Mr. Korsah quizzed: “So on what basis was Charlotte Osei going to announce the results of the polls? She was on her own.”
The 2013 elections ended in court after the NPP unearthed evidence to that effect that the polls had been rigged.
He charged the NDC to do same regarding the polls the former President is discrediting.
“I cannot understand them. They are just looking for an excuse. We shall hold former President John Mahama to strict proof. The 2013 election and matters arising from it have enabled us to improve upon elections in the country following the court the appearances. We shall continue to strive for improvement in subsequent elections,” he said.
He said the NDC did not collate the results of the 2016, something the party’s officials attributed to the non-payment of their allowances.
“If election results were not collated, how did you arrive at the conclusion that the polls were rigged?” he queried.
NDC Will Lose
Mr. Korsah said “the NDC will lose the 2020 elections because we are focused. They will suffer another blow. We shall strive for the improvement of the electoral system in the country.”
An official member of PNC, Henry Haruna Asante, confirmed that the parties did not agree on electronic transmission.
He recalled how the figures the parties were recording during the receipt of results were not tallying with that of Charlotte, saying “at a time we received 240 results but the EC had 92.”
He also recalled Amadu Sule’s position that the EC was not bound by the suggestions of the political parties.
He asked that the issue raised by the former President rather belatedly be probed to establish the truth.
As Ghanaians waited for the declaration of the presidential results by the presiding officer, Charlotte Osei, she made the grim announcement that the system of the EC had been compromised and that an instance of hacking could have occurred.
That nonetheless, she assured the nation that the 2016 election results could not be manipulated.
By A.R. Gomda