The United States froze in anticipation of the outcome of the presidential election. It is already clear that the turnout will be very high. All options are possible: a result with a minimum margin, Trump's protest against the voting results, outbreaks of violence вЂ” as observers note, the situation is more than unpredictable вЂ” and the country can easily slide into chaos. A number of publications even question the electoral system in force in the United States.
A country on the verge of unrest
De Telegraaf points out that unrest could break out in the country:
вЂњThe celebration of democracy can be marred by violence. It has rarely happened in US history that a country has been so divided. There is talk of electoral fraud, attacks on polling stations, and threats to voters. And President Trump is already speculating that he may simply disagree with the results and is preparing legal steps to challenge the mail-order vote, which he believes may be fraudulent. Any third world country would have much less voting problems! ... The only positive point: a record number of citizens intend to exercise their right to vote. And if the result is quick and unambiguous, then perhaps the fire can still be extinguished. Bad news: no one expects a quick and clear outcome. вЂњ
EU must remain calm
Former European Commission press officer Josef Waldstein, in his commentary to the Wiener Zeitung, reflects on how the EU should behave until the final election result is known:
вЂњWill we recognize Trump as the legitimate president, if he calls himself the winner even before the official publication of the results? What should we do if violence suddenly breaks out and this leads to human rights violations? ... The EU should not act prematurely, but recognize the winner only when all the votes have been counted вЂ” and one of the candidates admits defeat. If the case comes to trial in the Supreme Court, then it will be necessary to wait for its decision and recognize it. Any outbursts of violence will need to be strongly condemned. And if a solution is not found within a few months, then the EU should at least offer itself as a mediator.вЂќ
The system is old-fashioned but fair!
The Suddeutsche Zeitung doubts that direct elections would be the best option:
вЂњIf in the framework of the presidential race, it was only about getting the votes of the majority of Americans, then the citizens of Montana and two dozen more sparsely populated states could just stay at home вЂ” their votes would not make the difference. Thus, two-thirds of the US territory would be excluded from the vote. ... [This would] lead to a serious emasculation of the race in terms of content because then both presidential candidates would be forced to deal only with 'urban' topics вЂ” from housing prices and the fight against crime to gender-neutral language. For the aspirations of the rural population, which already often feels left out and who cannot understand the world of the townspeople, there would be no room in this campaign at all вЂ” and the split in society would only intensify.вЂќ
Domino effect hope
The upcoming US elections could be decisive for the future of authoritarian regimes, T24 believes:
вЂњThere are waves of democratization and authoritarianism all over the world. And we can say that both trends are highly contagious. ... People around the world who celebrate diversity and are persecuted in authoritarian countries expect Trump's defeat to provoke a domino effect вЂ” and hit authoritarianism. If Trump is elected president again, from whose words and actions we have simply become speechless for four years now, this will cause a feeling of powerlessness that people around the world will surely feel. And even in a situation where our world is engulfed in a pandemic, hardly anyone will once again want to watch a film in which evil triumphs.вЂќ