Democracy at work or a spectacle?: World reacts to US elections

While Iran has mocked the ongoing elections, countries like Turkey, France and China have struck a more conciliatory tone.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden [File: Mandel Ngan and Jim Watson/AFP]

The 2020 US elections have entered their fourth day as vote counting continues to determine who will be the next president.

The race between Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden is too close to call, with razor-thin margins separating the two individuals.

Incumbent Trump has alleged widespread “fraud” is taking place, courting controversy from across the American political and media spectrum, as well as foreign leaders and diplomats.

Here is how leaders across the globe have reacted to the United States elections:


Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has mocked the rancorous aftermath of Election Day in the US, saying the vote has exposed the reality of its democracy.

“What a spectacle!” Khamenei tweeted late on Wednesday. “One says this is the most fraudulent election in US history. Who says that? The president who is currently in office.”


Turkey is ready to work with whoever wins the US election, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Friday, despite a friendship with Trump that has helped the two countries through turbulent times.

“Regardless of which candidate takes office in the US, we will pursue a sincere approach to improve our relations,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said.


The ruling ZANU-PF party’s spokesman, Patrick Chinamasa, said: “We have nothing to learn about democracy from former slave owners.”


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he has confidence in the US election process, after Trump and his allies have repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of fraud following Tuesday’s presidential vote.

“I have every confidence in the checks and balances of the American Constitution,” Johnson told reporters Friday.

Johnson declined to comment on what a US administration led by Biden would mean for Britain [File: Alberto Pezzali/Pool/Reuters]


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday the US is more than a one-man show, and good losers are more important for democracy than great winners, in an interview with the Funke media group.

“The USA is more than a one-man show. Those who continue to add fuel to the fire in the current situation are acting irresponsibly,” Maas said.


The Kremlin has issued concerns over the process.

“Any uncertainty in the most powerful world economy, in one of the largest countries, has and could potentially have negative consequences for global affairs,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “Obvious shortcomings of the American electoral system are evident … partly due to the archaic nature of the relevant legislation and the lack of regulation in a number of fundamental points.”

But opposition leader Alexey Navalny suggested the delay was comforting, a sign of democracy at work.

“Woke up and went on Twitter to see who won. Still unclear. Now that’s (what I call) elections,” he tweeted.


Nigerian Senator Shehu Sani on Twitter said American democracy had been an “exemplar for freedom and good conduct”.

“We all now know about its imperfections and vulnerabilities. Like in everything else,pick the good & take lessons from the bad,” he posted on Twitter.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the delayed US election outcome as a demonstration of democracy.

“I have great confidence in the democracy of the United States and I have great confidence in their institutions and the thing about great institutions and democracies is they deal with whatever challenges come, just like our own does,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison [File: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images]


Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng on Thursday said, “despite disagreements between the two countries”, there were “common interests and space for cooperation”.

“Sustaining and moving forward a healthy and stable China-U. S. relationship is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples,” the minister said at the 20th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bejing.


Prime Minister Janez Jansa on Wednesday prematurely congratulated President Donald Trump for winning the election, saying it was “pretty clear” who the winner of the 2020 US elections was.

“It’s pretty clear that American people have elected ⁦@realDonaldTrump @Mike_Pence⁩ for #4moreyears,” he tweeted.

Twitter put a warning to Jansa’s tweet, saying: “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted.”


France’s foreign minister said on Thursday he had faith good sense would prevail in the US election and its strong democratic values would ensure the correct results.

“I have faith in US institutions validating the results of the election,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe 1 radio.


President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday he hoped Donald Trump would come out ahead in the down-to-the-wire US election, lashing out at Democratic contender Joe Biden’s comments on protecting the Amazon rainforest.

“You know where I stand, I’ve been clear. I have a good relationship with Trump. I hope he’ll be reelected,” Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasilia.


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies