By John Owen Nwachukwu
International observers have declared their position on the Tuesday’s presidential election in the United States of America, countering President Donald Trump’s claim of electoral fraud.
President’s Trump’s campaign had yesterday declared that he will demand recount of votes in Wisconsin, and will “immediately do so”.
The incumbent raised alarm at different points yesterday, alleging electoral fraud and threatened lawsuits.
But the observers are insisting that the election was hard-fought and competitive with a high degree of engagement by election workers and citizens.
They noted that the citizens fought hard “in the face of great legal uncertainty and a highly polarised political environment fuelled by aggressive campaign rhetoric.”
The observation was carried out jointly by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA).
There are 102 international election observers for the US general elections from 39 countries. They include 50 ODIHR-deployed experts and observers, and 52 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA.
According to them, the elections were well managed despite the numerous challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Georg Link, Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission, said in a statement on Thursday, “Nobody – no politician, no elected official – should limit the people’s right to vote.
“Coming after such a highly dynamic campaign, making sure that every vote is counted is a fundamental obligation for all branches of government.
“Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent President, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions.”
Kari Henriksen, Head of the OSCE PA delegation, added, “The right to vote and to have that vote counted is among the most fundamental principles of democracy.
“While the United States has taken great strides toward expanding the franchise, concerns remain regarding universal adult suffrage.
“Women’s participation in politics has also increased, but there should be greater attention paid to this. In the context of COVID-19 and the rise in mail-in voting, I am concerned about attempts to restrict the counting of legally cast ballots.”