Nov. 9, 2020 (GIN) – “Show commitment to democratic processes and the rule of law!”
No, that was not the Democrats chiding the Republicans nor the Republicans scolding the Democrats in the recent election drama that brought scorn from President Donald Trump and praise from former vice president Joe Biden as a historic number of ballots were scrupulously tallied.
Rather it was the U.S. embassy in Abidjan which issued a statement following that country’s national election that read: “We urge all parties, groups, and individuals to engage in inclusive dialogue to find peaceful solutions to their disagreements and to heal national divisions.”
Writer and analyst Samira Sawlani wryly observed: “The irony was hard to miss. Just hours earlier, incumbent President Donald Trump had called the vote a ‘major fraud on the nation’ and declared himself the winner – even as ballots were still being counted.”
“The leaders of Cote d’Ivoire should just cross out the name of their country, write USA instead and send this straight back,” Chika Ejikeme, a 21-year-old Nigerian student wrote on Facebook, referring to the Ivorian election in which Pres. Alassane Ouattara was questionably re-elected for a third term with 94% of the vote.
Kenyan cartoonist Patrick Gathara tweeted that Trump “has barricaded himself inside the presidential palace vowing not to leave unless he is declared the winner,” with a mediator “currently trying to coax him out with promises of fast food.”
“It was meant to be funny but also thought provoking,” Gathara told Al Jazeera.
The Continent, a South Africa-based publication, wrote in a satirical piece titled: “The African Union statement on the US elections”: “The AU remains concerned about the worrying political developments in the US and has decided to intervene in the matter, to ensure there is peace and order.”
Radio show host Dan Corder wondered if they will create outreach programs in which African students travel to the US to teach children about voting and take selfies with them for Instagram.
Finally, Signal Risk management director Ryan Cummings observed: “the Trump presidency and his overall demeanor during this election has shown that strongman politics is not an innately African phenomenon.”