Former, Current Liberian Leaders Congratulate Biden/Harris -As CPP’s Cummings, World Leaders Congratulate Duo
In the event of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of the Democratic Party winning the November 2020 US national elections on Saturday, making them the 46th President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States of America, congratulatory messages have started pouring in from former and current world leaders.
In Liberia, Africa’s first female president, former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, immediately sent her congratulations through Twitter to the duo for winning the US elections.
“Congratulations to the next US president @JoeBiden and vice president @KamalaHarris on their historic victory. This milestone serves as a powerful affirmation that women and women of color can and should belong in every level of government. Amujae! We are going up! #Election2020,” Madam Sirleaf tweeted Saturday.
As the current Liberian leader who took over from Madam Sirleaf when he overwhelmingly won the Liberian elections in 2017 during a runoff, President George Manneh Weah also used his Twitter account to immediately congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory at the polls, emphasizing Liberia-US long-standing ties.
“Congratulations to U.S. President-election Joe Biden on his historic win. He assumes the leadership of the United States at a very challenging time for the country and the world as we all face a global health crisis. I urge all Americans to forge together in peace and unity. As the traditional ally of the United States, Liberia stands ready to further enhance and rekindle our long, historic and unique bilateral relations. Congratulations!” enthused President Weah.
The current leader of Liberia’s opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, has also joined ranks with his colleagues in Liberia to congratulate President-elect and Vice President-elections Biden and Harris.
“Congratulations to President-Elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on your historic election. The United States of America has proven once again that it is not only a land of opportunities but a land of possibilities. The US now joins the ranks of Liberia and a few other countries to elect a first – a first female Vice President, recognizing women as partners in development and governance,” Mr. Cummings stated.
The CPP leader also congratulated the American people for coming out in record numbers to elect new leadership and proving to the world that when leaders do not serve the will of a majority of their people, they can be removed at the ballot box after one term.
“Liberia looks forward to our continued partnership and America’s continuous role in developing our nascent democracy,” Mr. Cummings averred.
Away from home, America’s next-door neighbor Canada also rose to the occasion to espouse the close alliance between Canada and the US, as Canadian leader Justin Trudeau remarked on Twitter.
“Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter. “Our two countries are close friends, partners and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
In Europe, the reactions were led by Irish politicians. “I want to congratulate the new President Elect of the USA,” Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin tweeted after the result emerged. Martin also referenced Biden’s Irish-American heritage, adding: “Joe Biden has been a true friend of this nation throughout his life and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead. I also look forward to welcoming him back home when the circumstances allow!”
Ireland’s health minister Simon Coveney said the country’s government looked “forward to working with a (Biden/Harris) presidency to sustain and strengthen Irish American relations, and so much more.”
The leaders of US allies South Korea and Australia also congratulated Biden and Harris.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement that “the President-elect has been a great friend of Australia over many years,” and noted that Biden will step into the role at a crucial time as the world battles the Covid-19 pandemic.
“American leadership is indispensable to meeting these challenges and upholding the rules, norms and standards of our international community,” Morrison said.
Morrison thanked current US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their work with Australia over the past four years.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in tweeted he looked forward to working with Biden and Harris.
“Our alliance is strong and the bond between our two countries is rock-solid,” Moon said.
In France Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also reacted on Twitter, declaring “Welcome back America!”
“While we are about to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, this victory symbolizes our need to act together more than ever, in view of climate emergency,” she wrote.
The US left the landmark agreement earlier this week.
French President Emmanuel Macron also posted a lively tweet, writing: “The Americans have chosen their President. We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
The sense of Biden’s election strengthening the US global role was also echoed in other European statements.
Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the German Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was “very happy for all my American friends and for this great chance to revive our transatlantic friendship,” while Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany wanted “to invest in our cooperation for a new transatlantic beginning, a new deal.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan said Biden and Harris’ win meant it was “time to get back to building bridges, not walls”, a jibe at President Trump’s policy of building a wall at the US-Mexico border. Khan and Trump have clashed repeatedly over the years.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also congratulated Biden and Harris and stressed the importance of the transatlantic relationship.
“Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement,” Johnson said on Twitter.
“The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Johnson and Trump’s administrations were thought to be close allies and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab took care to acknowledge the White House incumbent.
“It was a close contest and [Donald Trump] fought hard,” he wrote on Twitter.
Some politicians who had closer ties to Trump took the time to reflect on the sitting president’s achievements.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted his congratulations on Twitter several hours after other world leaders.
Netanyahu said he and Biden have had a “long & warm” personal relationship for almost 40 years and sees him as “a great friend of Israel” and looks forward to working together.
Netanyahu has worked closely with the White House on Middle East policy in recent years.
In a separate Twitter post, Netanyahu thanked Trump “for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Opposition leader Yair Lapid said: “Congratulations to my friend President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. The relationship between our countries is based on deeply held values and critical shared interests which I know will be at the heart of your administration.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also offered his congratulations to the winners of the US Presidential election.
In a statement released on the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Abbas said he was “looking forward to working with President-elect Biden and his administration in order to enhance the Palestinian-American relations and achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for our people… and in order to achieve peace, stability and security for all in our region and the world.”
The winner of the US election is determined through a system called the electoral college. Each of the 50 states, plus Washington DC, is given a number of electoral college votes, adding up to a total of 538 votes. More populous states get more electoral college votes than smaller ones.
A candidate needs to win 270 electoral college votes (50% plus one) to win the election. In every state except two – Maine and Nebraska – the candidate that gets the most votes wins all of the state’s electoral college votes.
By Saturday Joe Biden had garnered 290 Electoral College votes against Donald Trump’s 214, making Biden the 46th president of the United States of America.