Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has defended concerns raised by Former President John Dramani Mahama about what led to the ‘hacking’ of the election management body’s IT system during the 2016 elections.
Mr. Mahama asked that a full probe into circumstances that prompted a halt of the electronic transmission of results during the country’ to avoid 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.
Many have, following his comments suggested that his comments may compromise the credibility of the country’s electoral body.
Speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrooko show however, Mr. Pratt noted that the question was a legitimate one which had to be critically looked at to avoid a repeat of those challenges in the upcoming elections.
“Mahama asked that the EC comes out to explain why in 2016, the EC Chair, Charlotte Osei emerged to say the system had been compromised. What is wrong with this question? If the EC itself emerged to say the system was compromised, which system and what compromised it, how do we avoid that subsequently? This is not a fight, we should be able to accept this and make it help with the process”, he quizzed.
Adding, “Today what electoral process doesn’t feature electronic intelligence? It features in almost every well-known country, and how it will work. It’s a factor of elections all over the world, it is used all over the world before the elections to manipulate views or used during the course of the elections to change results. Not only Ghanaians should be worried about it, NPP should be worried about that.
As a matter of fact, in the 2016 elections, NPP paid a lot of attention to electronic intelligence, its part of the reasons they won. It’s a component that political parties must factor in their calculations”.
Pratt Jnr was speaking on Friday's edition of Peace FM morning show 'Kokrokoo'
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