Stumped Trump reduces US to a banana republic

His utterances and behaviour are setting a bad example to his African counterparts

US President Donald Trump speaks during an election night party in the East Room of the White House in Washington, the US, on November 4 2020.
US President Donald Trump speaks during an election night party in the East Room of the White House in Washington, the US, on November 4 2020.
Image: AL DRAGO

For some Africans President Donald Trump’s actions in the aftermath of the US election have given rise to dark humour, while others reacted with dismay or disbelief.

In countries where  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

“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,” said Mory Keïta, a car parts dealer in Guinea.

Dozens of people were killed in protests before and after the West African country’s president won a contested third term last month.

“It’s a total disgrace,” said Bachir Diallo, a Guinean mining executive. “Such a mess is worthy of a banana republic.”

As Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to victory over Trump, 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 US voting system, has alleged fraud without providing evidence, filed lawsuits and called for at least one recount.

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

One Twitter user wrote: “I believe the playground response is why you talking about yourself?”

At a newstand in Kenya's Nairobi, Maurice Nandasaba said: “They tell us about democracy. It’s simply a hoax. They don’t mean it.” 

Some who followed the US election found positives in what was happening across the Atlantic.

“It's calm, and there is no violence,” said Viviane Asseke, a schoolteacher in Ivory Coast, where more than 10 people have died in clashes since the president won a third term that opponents consider unconstitutional.

“It makes you want to vote. But more people were disappointed.”

You would think we’re in Africa when you see Trump’s behaviour

“You would think we’re in Africa when you see Trump’s behaviour,” said Ange Kouame, 23, a student in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan.

“It is terrifying to see this in America,” said Tito Kisiya, a sales executive in Tanzania, where the presidential election last week drew criticism from US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

In Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, where Trump has many admirers, some were critical of his 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.

Reuters


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