Persol Systems, the only fully owned-Ghanaian IT firm among five shortlisted companies hoping to electronically transmit election results in the December 7 polls, has been dropped at the last hour by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The country’s election management body on Wednesday commenced at its headquarters, the process for the proposed Electronic Results Transmission System (ERTS) ahead the 2016 general election without the Ghanaian company.
Information gathered by ghelections.com, indicates that Persol Systems, Scytl and Smartmatic were the final three companies shortlisted to demonstrate their capabilities to electronically transmit collation center results in the December 7 polls.
But today’s exercise took off with only two foreign companies, Scytl and Smartmatic, making presentations to EC’s tender committee, political parties and civil society groups in attendance. One of the two selected foreign companies is allegedly being fronted by a Ghanaian who is associated with those controlling the levers of powers.
The demonstration exercise, according to ghelections.com’s sources, will end on Friday August 12, 2016, with the winner of the bid expected to sign a contract with the EC on the e-transmission of election results on Monday August 15, 2016.
Controversy over e-transmission of results
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had kicked against the electronic mode of transmission of the election results.
NPP contended that the e-transmission of results should not be adopted in Ghana because the process had failed some countries including Kenya, Ecuador and Mexico.
According to the party’s 2016 Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu, the e-transmission process fails to address the critical challenges that the election reform process seeks to overcome.
He further argued that there is no law which gives the EC the power to electronically transfer results. “The E-transmission of results does not in any way control the abuse of the electoral process. It does not address foreign ballots and it is an after the fact process.
If there are only 800 voters on the register how will the system prevent transmission of results cast in excess of that number? If the EC was really serious about transmission of results, it should have backed that with legislation. No constitutional instrument supports this radical shift. There is no law which gives EC the mandate to electronically transmit results. Nothing in the law before Parliament makes mention of it.”
EC, NDC disagree with NPP
But the EC and the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), have rejected NPP’s claim, stating that the decision to use the ERTS for the 2016 elections was endorsed by the main opposition party.
Supporting EC’s position, the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia at a news conference on Wednesday August 3, said the NPP was fully aware of the decision to transmit the results electronically, because the decision came up at an IPAC meeting.