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Amoah, Michael (2019) 'Sleight is Right: Cyber Control as a New Battleground for African Elections.' African Affairs, 119 (1).

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Sleight of hand in manipulating the computation of results has become the new might for deciding who wins presidential elections. It appears that whoever controls the computation exercises a right to take advantage and win, and whoever loses or relinquishes control of the computation loses the election. As incumbents do not want to be identified with direct interference or rigging, hacking has become an alternative means. This raises a serious challenge for election management bodies (EMBs) and a new frontier for international observation. As electronic data management has become a key battleground, international observers cannot restrict their monitoring to the manual process alone. However, individual states may have data sensitivity concerns about granting electronic monitoring access to partisan international observers. Institutionalizing internationally agreed protocols that would allow real-time monitoring of EMBs’ computer systems by international observers or forensic audits of any stage of the electoral process to investigate interference, manipulation, hacking, and counter claims, is now a necessity. At the same time, the extent to which international monitors can be trusted to be non-partisan is of equal importance and could reduce forum shopping over time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: African Elections, Politics, Diplomacy, Digital Innovation
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > Centre of African Studies
School Research Centres > Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice
School Research Centres > Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR)
Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
ISSN: 00019909
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society. All rights reserved. This is the accepted manuscript of an article published by Oxford University Press in African Affairs, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 13:02
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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