BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Request to stop counting votes. Accusations of unsubstantiated fraud. Claims that the opposition is trying to “steal” the election.
Around the world, many people scratching their heads on Friday – especially in countries that have long been advised by Washington about how elections are held – wondering if those assertions really came from the General. United States, the country is considered one of the most prominent democracies in the world.
“Who is the banana republic now?”; The Colombian Daily Publimetro posted on the front page with a photo of a masked man printed with a US flag.
The irony of seeing Donald Trump of the United States cut off by major media networks on Thursday when he made unwarranted statements proving that the U.S. electoral system had not been lost. with many people. The United States has long been a strong critic of strong tactics around the world. Now, some of the same targets are spinning in their fingers.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro laughed as his vote lasted on Tuesday, playing a hymn about his country’s annual beauty pageant on state television, singing: ” On a night like night, any of them can win. ‘
In Africa – the long-standing target of US election guidelines – a Kenyan commentator wrote sarcastic tweets, drawn from the cliché that has long depicted cracked elections. confused and questioned the power of democracy in America
Kenyan cartoonist Patrick Gathara tweeted that Trump “fenced up inside the presidential palace and vowed not to leave unless declared the winner”, with a mediator “currently trying to lure He goes out on promises of fast food. ”
Along with the mockery was dismay. Many people in Africa see the United States as a democracy and after difficult elections in Tanzania and Ivory Coast in recent days, they are looking at what Washington has to say.
“We are asking ourselves, why does America’s democratic process seem so fragile when it is seen as valued for us in the rest of the world as a beacon of the background perfect democracy? ” Samir Kiango, a Tanzanian living in his country’s commercial capital, Friday.
For decades, the United States has been a supporter of democracy abroad, using diplomatic pressure and even direct military intervention in the name of spreading the principles of a pluralistic system with a single vote. freedom and justice for political leaders. These tactics have created both allies and foes, and this year’s presidential vote is perhaps more than any one that is testing the power of the values it promotes around the world.
And the world is paying attention.
Few places on Earth receive advice about the end of the United States’ election as the continent of Africa, where the United States encourages countries with independent electoral committees, electoral registers, and quotas. Another standard aimed at ensuring a fair vote.
“The US electoral system doesn’t have these things. No one, ”said Sithembile Mbete, a commentator and senior lecturer in political science at the University of Pretoria, at an online event last month.
Nic Cheeseman, professor and author of a book on democracy in Africa added: “Some elections in Africa really go better.
Denis Kadima, executive director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, said he sees Trump’s democratic approach as an exception, but “we should not use that as a allowing our government to do bad things ”.
In Mexico, a number of commentators have urged the media to follow the instructions of their US colleagues to cut off the transmission line when the president of their country began spreading the lies.
However, there is also concern that an area where many democracies remain on fragile grounds – or in purely autocratic rule – that Trump’s behavior could set a bad precedent.
“If we use violence or massive protests or political leaders try to do their best to falsify results before it can be refunded,” said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the American Council. That would provide another example for countries in Latin America, ”said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of America. , a New York-based organization that promotes business in the region.
However, despite all the uproar in America, many say they see it as a blip, unlikely to damage the country’s reputation as a democracy champion.
Kadima, on Cote d’Ivoire, said he finds Washington still upholds his ideals, although he admits confusion about the existence of an electoral college system.
“I’m not very impressed by the university system, which I find is not very democratic,” he said.
His colleague, Grant Masterson, notes that the US electoral system has “50 different ways in 50 different states”, which he says is appropriate for the American people but “certainly not the system that other countries are adopting. ”
However, what he found “great for American democracy” was the ritual of the speech of concessions after a fierce vote, signaling that it’s time to “take off your partisan hat. and put on your national hat ”and move on.
“It’s a particularly good example for the rest of the world to follow,” he said – though he was skeptical of the speech this time.
As Americans nervously waited for voting results from some of the remaining states that weren’t colored red or blue, millions around the world participated. And it turns out, however, that many hope that America’s humble democracy will become stronger eventually.
Kenyan commentator and cartoonist Gathara said he was optimistic the result would be a more honest discussion about democracy.
“I really don’t know how it ended,” he said of his running comment. “We are all trying to find this democratic thing.”
Writers of the Associated Press, Jorge Rueda in Caracas, Venezuela and David Biller in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, contributed to this report.