Africans shocked by US election crisis, call Trump action a ‘disgrace’

2020-11-05 20:50:59
Africans shocked by US election crisis, call Trump action a ‘disgrace’

Some Africans have reacted with dismay or disbelief over US President Donald Trump's actions in the aftermath of the American election.

In countries whose own recent elections were marred by accusations of cheating and violence, some expressed concern about what signal Trump's premature declaration of victory, allegations of fraud and flurry of lawsuits might send to their own leaders.

"Trump is setting a bad example for Africa and a country like ours. You cannot proclaim yourself in an election where you are a candidate when justice exists," Mory Keïta, a car parts dealer in Guinea, told Reuters.

"It's a total disgrace," Bachir Diallo, a Guinean mining executive, told Reuters about Trump's actions. "Such a mess is worthy of a banana republic."

As Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden edged closer to victory over the Republican US president, others felt a sharp sense of irony seeing events play out in a developed nation whose authorities regularly admonish African leaders for not respecting democratic norms.

Trump, who during the long and rancorous campaign attacked the integrity of the American voting system, has alleged fraud without providing evidence, filed lawsuits and called for at least one recount.

When the U.S. Embassy in Guinea's neighbour Ivory Coast called on Wednesday for dialogue and commitment to the rule of law following another disputed presidential election, some people took umbrage.

"They [U.S.] tell us about democracy, it's simply a hoax. They don't mean it," said Maurice Nandasaba, as he caught up with friends near a newsstand in Kenya's capital Nairobi.

Most people who followed the U.S. election and were interviewed by Reuters said they were disappointed.

"It is terrifying to see this in America," said Tito Kisiya, a sales executive in Tanzania, whose presidential election last week drew criticism from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In Africa's most populous nation Nigeria, many were critical of Trump’s actions.

"A soothsayer does not need to tell us that the America we are looking at as a model in everything is not even a model when it comes to electioneering," said Agbor Elemi, a consultant in Lagos.

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