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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

‘Very explosive’, ‘What a spectacle’: How the world is reacting to delayed US election results

Russian dissident and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was recently poisoned, had tweeted, "Woke up and went on Twitter to see who won. Still unclear. Now that's (what I call) elections."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2020 11:02:02 pm
uUS c oronavirus, joe biden, donald trump, US house, Us president, US covid handling, world newsOn Tuesday, Trump signed off on allowing Biden to receive the presidential daily brief, the highly classified briefing prepared by the nation's intelligence community for the government's most senior leaders. (AP/File)

The United States of America entered its fourth day of vote counting as the nation waits with bated breath to find out who will become the 46th president in this tightly contested, and protracted election race.

The one big question that Americans, and the rest of the world, are asking is this: when will the final result be declared and why this delay in counting of votes? The answer isn’t that simple but it could take days, weeks or perhaps, even months to know the real picture.

Aside from the pandemic, which led to people casting their ballots early and by post, Trump’s frequent accusations of election fraud, his campaign unleashing several lawsuits in key states, and his constant claims of winning the elections, even when votes remain to be counted, have put a scanner on just how complicated and protracted the election results are going to be.

Follow US Election Results 2020 LIVE Updates

What is clear for now is that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is on the cusp of a historic victory as he took crucial leads over US President Donald Trump in the key battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, Biden took over Trump with a narrow lead of 5,587 votes. This is significant given that Trump was leading in the swing state till Wednesday night with more than 700,00 votes. Biden continued to maintain his small lead in the other two battleground States of Arizona and Nevada.

Also Read | American democracy survives its brush with death

To be declared the winner of the US election, either of the two candidates needs 270 of the 538 electoral college votes. As per the latest projections, Biden has 264 electoral college votes and Trump trails behind with 214.

Now that the world knows that the results won’t be coming in anytime soon, here’s how global leaders reacted to the vote counting delay and everything around it:

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khameini took a dig at the aftermath of Election Day and said the “vote has exposed the reality of its democracy”.

In a tweet, the leader said, “What a spectacle! One says this is the most fraudulent election in US history.”

US President Donald Trump caused a lot of disquiet even among leaders of his own party after accusing election officials of fraud and flatly claiming victory in the elections even while vote is still being counted.

Russian dissident and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was recently poisoned, had tweeted, “Woke up and went on Twitter to see who won. Still unclear. Now that’s (what I call) elections.”

The reactions from around the world were a mix of confusion, fear and apprehension. While European media flatly questioned whether or not US was staring at a crisis, others slammed Trump for doubting the country’s electoral system and its integrity.

Chinese state media labelled the US elections, perhaps unsurprisingly, as “divisive and chaotic”. China’s Xinhua news agency said, “Many media and people worry that if the election is contested, it may trigger chaos and even social unrest.”

In Europe, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas today urged both sides in the US election to show restraint until the results were available, adding it was irresponsible to aggravate tensions. “America is more than a one-man show. Anyone who continues to pour oil on the fire in a situation like this is acting irresponsibly,” Maas told Germany’s Funke media as quoted by Reuters.

“Now is the time to keep a cool head until an independently determined result is available,” he added.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) concluded that there was no evidence of election fraud and said that Trump’s accusations about shortcomings in the country’s election system were baseless. In a statement, Michael Georg Link, leader and special coordinator of the short-term OSCE observer mission, said, “Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions.”

Meanwhile, in a statement to TIME magazine, Polish diplomat Amb. Ursula Gacek expressed frustration at the “deliberate attempts by the incumbent to weaken confidence in the election process”. She said observers did not find any evidence of wrongdoing after Trump’s claim of alleged election fraud.

In an interview to the BBC, after Trump claimed victory in elections, UK’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab also declined to comment directly on the ongoings. He told BBC that “whatever the election night comments on either side of the campaign, I’m confident and have full faith in the U.S. institutions, checks and balances in the U.S. system, that will produce a definitive result.”

In Canada, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau steered clear of any controversial comments, leader of the country’s New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh tweeted, “Trump makes the world a more dangerous place for all of us.”

Germany’s defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reaction was more direct. She termed the situation in US as “very explosive”. After Trump’s announcement from White House questioning the legitimacy of the electoral system of the United States of America, the minister told German TV channel ZDF that “the battle for the legitimacy of the result, whatever the outcome, has begun.”

Olaf Scholz, the German vice chancellor, on the other hand, said it’s important that all votes be counted and have a clear result in the end.

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