Former President John Mahama has endorsed suggestions for the extension of the presidential term from the current four to five years.
“The idea of extension was first made by former President Agyekum Kufuor after exiting office in 2009. I agree with him, I think a five-year term is better, first year, you are elected, forming your government, before settling in second year, third and fourth years you’re fighting an election, you have just two years to work, it makes it difficult,” he posited.
Delivering a lecture on, ‘Democracy and
elections in contemporary Africa’ at the Said Business School in London, the
former president indicated that “it takes almost two years for the leader
to get things running smoothly after elections thereby reducing to only two
years implementation period for projects outlined for transformation”.
In collaboration with African Studies Centre and Oxford Africa Business Alliance, former President Mahama challenged the Electoral Commission (EC) to make public details of investigation into hacking of system used in collating election results electronically during the 2016 polls.
“Ghanaians and relevant stakeholders demand to know in the interest of transparency, probity, accountability and rule of law, during the last presidential election in Ghana. Electoral Commission directed its staff to stop using electronic result transmission system to communicate results to tallying centre because the system had been compromised, results were tallied manually, leading to delay of announcement of final results.
“As I speak, I am not aware the Electoral Commission has carried out any investigation into what compromised their Information Technology system, stakeholders, political parties, have not been briefed on what caused corruption of the system, Ghanaians must understand what happened before going into elections in 2020,” former President Mahama pointed out.
He lauded the African continent for improving on electoral reforms graduating from steel ballot boxes to transparent ones saying, “In past electoral systems,the citizen’s duty was to turn out to vote, rest of process from counting to declaration of results was done out of sight of the electorate.
“Electoral systems have improved with innovations such as vote counting in-situ, biometric registers, verification machines, allowance for observation of elections by party agents, civil society and international observers improved integrity of elections and lessened disputes.
“There are challenges to be addressed to deal with fear, panic, hacking of electronic transmission system and manipulation of results which can be found in elections in Ghana, Kenya and Sierra Leone,” former President Mahama revealed.