Hackers have targeted the website of Ghana’s electoral commission as votes are counted after tightly contested elections.
The commission says the website is up again, but it is currently blank, urging the people to disregard the “fake results” circulating on social media.
“We deplore the attempt to hack the EC’s [electoral commission’s] website. Please respect the integrity and independence of the EC,” the commission said in a tweet.
President John Mahama is facing a strong challenge from main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo in a campaign dominated by Ghana’s faltering economy.
Wednesday’s election passed off peacefully, but voting was postponed to Thursday in one constituency after voting material failed to arrive on time.
A run-off will be held later in the month if neither of the two main candidates secures more than 50% of the votes.
In the previous election in 2012, Mahama defeated Akufo-Addo by less than 300,000 votes.
All seven candidates have pledged to keep the process peaceful but an opposition supporter died when a rally tuned violent on Monday.
Voting in his northern home region of Bole on Wednesday, where he was mobbed by a cheering crowd, President Mahama said Ghana’s democracy had “matured” and this election would further consolidate it.
Asked about corruption in the country, the President said: “There is a general perception of corruption in all African countries. I think it is a stage of our development.
“As we continue to strengthen the institutions of state, I think that people will come to see the integrity in these institutions.”
Similarly, Akufo-Addo said he hoped for an orderly election as he voted in Kibi in the south of Ghana.
“It’s very important that this process goes off efficiently and smoothly and peacefully so that Ghana continues to maintain its deserved image of being a democracy that takes democracy seriously,” he said.
Defeat for president Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, would make him the first incumbent to lose an election since Ghana returned to multi-party democracy.
He has been nicknamed “Mr Dumsor”, a local word that refers to the power cuts that have blighted the country during his term, but on the campaign trial has been trying to convince Ghanaians that he is delivering on his promise of creating more jobs.
Akufo-Addo has promised free high-school education and more factories, but his critics have questioned the viability of his ambitions.
The other four candidates include former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party,NDP, whose husband Jerry John Rawlings initially took power in the 1979 coup.
She is the first woman to run for president in the West African country.