As the 2020 presidential election nears its conclusion, Joe Biden takes the lead over Donald Trump in a knife race in the key states of Pennsylvania and Georgia.
While the United States waits to learn its fate, the rest of the world watches with excitement. Spectators in South America, Asia and Europe are glued to their screens, waiting for the results to roll in.
Biden is now ahead in the states considered key to winning the election, and Trump is unlikely to give in as he continues to make unfounded accusations of election fraud on Twitter. So far, the world’s leaders have by and large remained silent.
China’s tightly controlled state-run media have branded the election as “divisive, tense and chaotic”, marred by “riots, mud-slinging and monetary policy” and have repeatedly pointed to the potential for unrest or other election-related violence.
However, the Chinese government has remained neutral on the outcome. “The U.S. presidential elections are the internal affairs of the country. China does not take a position on this,” the State Department spokesman, Wang Wenbin, told reporters at a press conference.
As the final count is still pending, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, warned that a lack of clarity could ultimately harm the international community. “Uncertainty in the most powerful global economy in one of the largest countries has and could possibly have negative consequences for global affairs,” he said on Thursday, as reported by the state-run Russian news agency TASS.
“The results of the U.S. elections have not yet been announced, and it is impossible to comment in the current situation,” he said. “We would rather take our time and wait until the situation becomes clearer.
In the UK
Both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Foreign Minister Dominic Raab have so far kept a low profile on this issue. Both have faced criticism from British lawmakers this week when they refused to condemn Donald Trump’s claims of victory and, more recently, electoral fraud.
While he was being gripped by MPs in London, Johnson was asked by opposition leader Keir Starmer: “Will the Prime Minister join me in saying that it is not for a candidate to decide which votes count and which do not, or when to stop counting. The next president must be the free and fair choice of the American people”.
The Prime Minister replied: “Of course, as the British government we do not comment on the democratic processes of our friends and allies.
Raab was pressured to condemn the President’s statements but said he would “not comment on campaign comments.” Raab said: “This is clearly a much closer election than expected and I think under the circumstances there will be a lot of fingernail biting on both sides of the debate, but we will wait for the final result, we have full confidence in the American system that it will deliver one, and we will be ready, able and enthusiastic to work with our American friends regardless of the outcome.
The leader in Scotland, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, has been less shy about expressing her opinion. As Biden’s lead on Trump grew in the major fighting states, she twittered: “The world can sometimes be a dark place right now – but today we are seeing a small break in the clouds.
All over Europe
In Germany, where polls indicate that Trump remains deeply unpopular, Defense Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said President Trump risks triggering a “constitutional crisis” in the United States by threatening to challenge the election results before the Supreme Court.
“[This is] something that must be of deep concern to us,” she said, warning of a “very explosive situation.
A high-ranking ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused Trump of “terrible” behavior. Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, told CNN: “It is really with great sadness for many, many Germans to witness this behavior.
He said: “We will see days and weeks of struggle and non-acceptance.
In France, a high-ranking minister said that the USA “has not been a friendly partner of the European states for several years”. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Radio Classique that whoever wins “will not change this strategic fact”.