US Presidential elections 2016: Clinton’s victory a step toward gender balance among world leaders, says Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says a victory for Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election would be a step toward gender balance among world leaders.

By: AP | Updated: November 8, 2016 11:52 pm
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves as she arrives to vote at her polling place in Chappaqua, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves as she arrives to vote at her polling place in Chappaqua, N.Y. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Germany’s foreign minister says the bitter US election campaign will leave a “difficult legacy” for the next president because it has deepened the country’s divisions. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says both Germans and many Americans “are glad that this special election campaign is coming to an end.” He says the campaign “has left a more or less divided country” and it will be difficult for the incoming president to bridge the differences.

Steinmeier has been sharply critical of Republican contender Donald Trump. He brushed aside suggestions that relations between Europe and the US would also become more complicated under Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton- saying that he knows Clinton and doesn’t fear that. He spoke in Berlin on Tuesday.

Kenyans in President Barack Obama’s ancestral hometown have held their own version of the US presidential election, leaning heavily toward Obama’s own favorite in the race: Hillary Clinton. Tuesday’s mock poll was held in Nyangoma-Kogelo, the birthplace of Obama’s father. Kenyan comedian Laurence Oyange was an organizer. He says it’s a way Kenyans can connect to America. Oyange said the poll was boycotted by Malik Obama, the president’s half-brother who has said he supports Trump. There were 105 voters and 78 percent of them favored Clinton. Eleven percent went for Donald Trump. Other ballots were spoiled or disqualified. Oyange says the community also held mock US elections during Obama’s elections.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is offering an Election Day swansong honor to Barack Obama, saying the first black American president “wrote an indelible page of history” that should inspire generations to come. Renzi pointed to US job creation, investment in energy and health care as some of Obama’s domestic victories. Renzi cited the Cuba detente and the Iran nuclear deal as international achievements for the Obama administration. Renzi writes in his weekly e-newsletter that “Obama was a point of reference for those who still believe in the American dream, for those who believe in the Democratic Party, for those who believe in politics.” Renzi is the leader of Italy’s Democratic Party and has said he hopes Hillary Clinton wins. Renzi writes that Obama will continue “to be a source of inspiration and encounter for the new generation.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says a victory for Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election would be a step toward gender balance among world leaders. Merkel says she’s awaiting the election result “with suspense,” while declining to comment directly on Clinton or rival Donald Trump. But asked Tuesday about the possibility of a woman winning the White House, she said, “Then we’d come a little bit closer to a balance of women and men in leading positions.” Germany’s first female leader was speaking alongside Erna Solberg, Norway’s second female prime minister. Solberg said it “may be inspiring for many young women to see politics not just as something that belongs to men.” But she added, “There isn’t some kind of global girlfriends network that wants to rule the world.”

Poland’s foreign minister says Eastern Europe is closely watching the US elections but will reserve judgment on who would be a better president. Witold Waszczykowski declined to say whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would better serve the region’s security and political interests. He says a future US president would be judged after selecting “prominent figures to run foreign policy and the military sector.”

Nine senior diplomats and foreign ministers of NATO’s eastern flank members met in Bucharest Tuesday to discuss Russia, regional security and the US election. Waszczykowski says he doesn’t think the words and ideas expressed during the campaign are necessarily “a guide for a future president.”