Most Africans are familiar with election disputes but not when it involves the world’s most famous democracy- the United States where the incumbent is heading for defeat but not without disputing the outcome.With Democrat candidate Joe Biden in the lead for the While House and the Republican incumbent Donald Trump trailing in his wake, the outcome of the polls look set to go to the wire and trigger a hot dispute at the US courts.
Africans who had always found many things fascinating about the United States are looking on astounded, as the principals in this election soap opera act like politicians on the continent.
“This is election madness’ some of them said, hardly feeling they are using the right words to capture the atmosphere attending to the election scenario in America.
“Don’t forget this is the world’s foremost exponent of democracy we are talking about” a Gambian political commentator who wishes to remain anonymous observes.
He said Trump’s allegations of election fraud robbing him of victory is a sure sign that American democracy is grossly overrated.
“It is not sending the right signals to the rest of the world particularly Africa about how eventual losers should behave when staring defeat in the face” he adds.
Cries of foul play were all too familiar in recent presidential elections in three African countries namely Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Guinea (Conakry).
With the exception of Cote d’Ivoire, the losing candidates in Tanzania and Guinea had refused to conceded to the incumbents, alleging widespread irregularities including ballot-stuffing.
In all three countries, anti-government movements had taken to the streets, protesting the that incumbents Alassane Ouattara (Cote d’Ivoire) and Alpha Conde (Guinea) had exhausted their two five-year terms from a constitutional perspective.
As the election saga drags on in the United States, Trump and his supporters calling for the vote counting to stop in some areas while demanding that it be maintained in others provided the fodder for Africans to mock US democracy.
“It’s a political circus” says one observer in Nigeria.