The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has no qualms with the Electoral Commission’s intention to transmit election results electronically in the December 7 polls, Acting Chairman of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo party has told Class FM in Bolgatanga.
“[On the] e-transmission [of election results], we’ve agreed, we’ve discussed [it with the Electoral Commission]. The world is moving forward and IT is also moving forward. There’s nothing basically wrong with the e-transmission except that it must be transparent and must be accessible to all the parties involved. At every stage of the transmission, we should all be aware, we should all have access to it, we should all know how it is going, so, we are in principle not against, we’ve been told [about it] except that we want it done in a transparent manner so that there won’t be any libi-libi (rigging),” Mr Blay said on Wednesday August 3.
His comments contradict those of his party’s campaign manager, Mr Peter Mac Manu, who recently accused the EC of not adequately briefing the NPP about the e-transmission process.
Mr Mac Manu had said “no political party or civil society organisation has received invitation from the EC to attend the demonstration” of the transmission process. He said on Sunday July 31 that the EC had not been able to convince the country why it intended to conduct e-transmission of poll results in December. “First, there is no law which gives the EC the mandate to electronically transmit results, nothing in the law before parliament now. C.I. 94 makes mention of it. Also, the law talks about the EC receiving all the collated results from the Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results (pink sheets) signed by party agents at the constituency level, and the expectation is that they will be brought to the National Collation Centre before the winner of the presidential race will be declared,” he said.
Mr Manu also raised concerns about the integrity of the e-transmission system. “Potentially, the results can be tampered with, and by that I mean modified mid-transmission. Particularly in the absence of strong network security and encryption,” he said.
He continued: “Also, if the system starts sending and breaks down midstream, there could be confusion. We have seen that in Ecuador, where for two weeks the results were not coming. We have seen that in Mexico and we have also seen e-transmission failing in Kenya, which was the main reason behind their election petition in 2012.
“The focus, we believe, should rather be on first ensuring that a certified true copy of the pink sheet, from each of the 29,000 is brought to the National Collation Centre before the Chairperson of the EC finally declares the winner. They can all be brought to Accra within 48 hours from even the remotest part of Ghana,” Mr Mac Manu added.