LONDON – Europeans woke up on Wednesday to the now familiar sight of an American presidential election that went astray. Like the Asians a few hours earlier, they were stirred up by a tense fight between President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and was appalled by Mr. Trump’s request to stop counting votes.
“Trump-Biden: The United States is tearing itself apart,” Le Monde said in the headline on the front page, summarizing French coverage of the election that often depicts a disintegrating country.
“OK, America, so what the hell is going on now?” Marina Hyde, a columnist for The Guardian, Britain’s major left-wing newspaper, wrote. She answered her own question by risking, “Nothing but optimism.”
In Australia and Indonesia, crowds gather around TV in cafes, trying to peek at the states turning red or blue. In Iran, the hashtag #Elections_America was in vogue on Persia’s Twitter, while in Japan, Fuji Television reported the election graphically blending old-style cardboard with avatars often seen in video games.
Around the world, the dripping results from all over the US electoral map make for an astonishingly compelling must-watch TV series. Stakes are global, and so are the audience, illustrating the fact that presidential elections in the United States affect everyone, even those who are not eligible to vote.
Moch Faisal Karim, professor of international relations at Binus University, Indonesia, said: “It was like a World Cup final.
For many, the election was an opportunity to witness the failed hopes of Mr. Trump, who had feuded with alliances, started a trade war and offended foreign leaders. with his erratic trading style. After the non-stop drama during his first term, many around the world yearned for the United States to switch back to the more traditional path that Mr. Biden had promised.
For the countries that have benefited from Trump, the prospect of a Biden has awakened more conflicting emotions. In Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has established close ties with Trump, right-wing commentators have used these unexpected results to defame the American media.
“The gap between what they said and what happened is simply too wide to believe they haven’t seen this,” Shimon Riklin, an ally of Mr. Netanyahu, said on Twitter. “We have predicted the most splendid and organized fake news in history.”
Many onlookers want nothing more than a quick solution, but rather uncertainty and anger instead. The first is a biennial refresher course on the complexity of the US presidential process – and then, when the votes are counted, hours of waiting, news websites and TV channels. filled with maps and charts of 50 states familiar to Americans.
They try to create an image of the stores against potential violence. When Mr. Trump showed up at the White House at around 2am in Washington and announced early that he had won, warning that he would go to the Supreme Court to try to end the rest of the vote count, anxiety deepening.
“Donald Trump is playing with fire in an already explosive scene,” declared Le Monde.
“President Trump’s statement should care about anyone who believes in democracy,” said Michael Fullilove, executive director of the Lowy Institute, a research institute in Sydney, Australia.
“A contested election could be the worst possible outcome for the United States,” added Fullilove. “Covid made America look unwell. Now it looks feverish and disoriented ”.
In Asia, election results are given while the markets are trading, causing wild swings.
In an area that was virtually under control of the coronavirus, many people tried to find out about a country where the infection was still rampant and voters seemed ready to re-elect a leader who made the false claims. that the virus will disappear.
South Korean newspapers relayed real-time updates on the vote count with banner headlines on their websites and cable channels reported continuously, making it a watched US election. closest in recent memory.
On Wednesday afternoon in South Korea, when Mr. Trump started to compete on the map and picked a number of battlefield nations, news outlets and social media users expressed surprise at the performance of he.
A local commentator wrote on Twitter: “It is amazing how stubborn he is in the race even after messing up in his war against Covid-19.
In China, state media repeatedly highlight the possibility of election-related riot or other violence. CCTV, the state’s broadcaster, showed footage of the crowded police presence in Washington and protesters jostling each other near the White House, although protests there Tuesday night were largely played out. in peace.
For some countries, it is hoped that the election will change the US relationship with the world.
In Indonesia, some analysts argue that Mr. Biden’s victory will soften America’s approach to the Muslim world, while in Iran, where the economy is being affected by his sanctions. Trump, some argued that the election would have a bigger impact than the Iranians than Americans.
“The slogan for the revolution was ‘no with the West, not with the East’,” Ebrahim Alinia, a real estate agent, wrote on Twitter. “But after 41 years, we are looking for American elections to save our economy.”
In Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro is Trump’s populist ally, critics are hoping that Mr. Biden will change Mr. Trump’s policy. Natalie Unterstell, an environmental activist, said on Twitter: “A change in US policy could help delay and even reverse the start of the Amazon rainforest.
In Singapore, there is a sense of “powerlessness” about the election, said Eugene Tan, professor of law and political analyst at Singapore Management University.
“We still tend to see America as the flagship of democracy,” said Tan. “And seeing how the election results will be challenged, how people believe there will be violence, society will be more fractured, I think that has been expanded by many in Singapore. eye.”
While the appeal of the election is clearly evident in the news, in Japan it’s a bit bizarre, planned or not.
On TV Asahi TV, the hosts explained about the Electoral College with pieces of battlefield states imprinted with the electoral votes counting results. A voting booth at the bottom of the screen displays pictures of the candidates responding to the increase in number: Mr. Trump is depicted with gaping mouth, waving hands on either side of his face. Mr. Biden appeared with a conscious fist.
Even Alexei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who challenged President Vladimir V. Putin and almost died after being poisoned with a nerve agent, finds humor in the elaborate ritual of American democracy. .
“Wake up and go to Twitter to see who has won,” he posted on Wednesday. “Not clear yet. Now that’s what I call voting.”
Mark Landler reports from London, and Hang Damien from Sydney, Australia. Report contributed by Aurelien Breeden from Paris; Ernesto Londono from Rio de Janeiro; Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem; Motoko Rich is from Tokyo; Hannah Beech from Bangkok; Vivian Wang is from Hong Kong; Yan Zhuang from Melbourne, Australia; Choe Sang-Hun from Seoul, South Korea; Farnaz Fassihi from New York; Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow; and Abdi Latif Dahir from Cairo. Claire Fu has contributed research.