As the United States conducts the election to choose its president for another four years, the past challenges witnessed in Africa and developing countries are evolving in the poll.
This is according to Mr Isaac Albert, a professor of African History, Peace, and Conflict Studies, while analysing the election on Thursday on Sunrise Daily.
“What we are witnessing, to me as a professor, is to say that students of electoral democracy should begin to question existing literature on electoral democracy because the impression initially created is that America is a citadel of democracy,” he said during his appearance on the Channels Television breakfast show.
Professor Albert added, “But all the past problems that we have witnessed in Africa and in the developing countries of the world are unfolding in America – election violence, the use of unhealthy languages by the candidates, misuse of social media; all these are unfolding in this election.”
On the latest developments in the poll, he believes the people’s power is at play, saying what is unfolding is that electoral democracy has to do with the people.
The don stated that three important credibility factors – personal credibility of the candidate, procedural credibility, and credibility of the institutions – were important for a democracy to work in any country.
He noted that there were “several problems” with the U.S. elections, decrying a situation where a president was questioning the processes in his country on the production of leaders.
Professor Albert said, “This is the first time one will be witnessing a president actually challenging the process, even before the results are declared.
“President Trump is asking for recounting of the ballots in some states, he is asking that the counting of the ballots should even stop in some states, and he is preparing to go to court for results that have not been declared.”
“So, in other words, he is questioning a process that might even make him a president because he could win at the end of the day. I think this is of deep interest to us,” the don added.
The US Elections Project estimated total turnout at a record 160 million, including more than 101.1 million early voters, 65.2 million of whom cast ballots by mail amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the votes counted as of 9am on Thursday, Democratic Party presidential candidate, Joe Biden takes the lead with 72,102,585 – representing 50.4 per cent of the total votes.
On the other hand, U.S. President Donald Trump, who is contesting on the platform of the Republican Party, has 68,637,070 votes – representing 48 per cent of the total ballots.
So far, both Biden and Trump have 264 and 214 electoral votes respectively, and a candidate is expected to have a minimum of 270 electoral votes to be declared the winner of the election.
While the Democratic Party candidate and his supporters are anticipating victory, the Republican Party candidate and his camp seek to challenge the results before the polls are concluded.