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WORLD | 04-11-2020 15:49

Warnings, high hopes and congratulations... World reacts to knife-edge US vote

From warnings to good wishes, governments in Europe and beyond reacted very differently to the hotly-contested US election on Wednesday as votes continued to be counted.

From warnings to good wishes, governments in Europe and beyond reacted very differently to the hotly-contested US election on Wednesday as votes continued to be counted and incumbent Donald Trump prematurely declared victory against challenger Joe Biden.

'Explosive situation'

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the United States was facing a "very explosive situation" and a possible systemic crisis.

Following Trump's remarks that he had already won, Kramp-Karrenbauer told public broadcaster ZDF: "This election has not been decided... votes are still being counted."

She said Trump, who has vowed to go to the Supreme Court to stop ballots from being tallied, could create "a constitutional crisis in the USA", calling such a scenario "something that must deeply concern us".

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas later said: "It is important that all politicians who reach people directly, establish trust in the electoral process and the results."

Hope for Trump victory

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he hoped Trump would win.

The far-right leader, who has been dubbed a "Tropical Trump," has cultivated a close relationship with the Republican president.

"You know where I stand, I've been clear. I have a good relationship with Trump. I hope he'll be re-elected," Bolsonaro told supporters.

'Not worried'

Britain insisted its close partnership with the United States was in safe hands whoever came out on top – Trump or Democrat challenger Biden.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a populist ally of Trump, refused to be drawn in parliament when grilled about the Republican's premature claim of victory.

But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "I'm not worried about the relationship."

'Not a friendly partner'

The outcome of the presidential vote will have little impact on US-Europe trade relations, France's finance chief said, adding Washington was unlikely to drop its confrontational stance whether Trump wins or not.

"Let's not kid ourselves: The United States has not been a friendly partner to European states for several years now," Bruno Le Maire told French radio.

"Whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump is elected by Americans tonight or tomorrow, nothing changes this strategic fact," he said. "The American continent has detached itself from the European continent."

Congratulations to Trump

Slovenia's conservative prime minister congratulated Trump for winning re-election despite votes still being counted.

"It's pretty clear that American people have elected Donald Trump and Mike Pence for four more years," Janez Jansa – whose country is First Lady Melania Trump's homeland – wrote on Twitter.

"More delays and facts denying from MSM [mainstream media], bigger the final triumph for POTUS," he said.

Jansa, along with Hungary's Prime Minister Victor Orban, was one of the few European Union leaders to endorse Trump's candidacy, and he said Biden would be "one of the weakest US presidents in history."

– AFP

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