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Last Updated: Friday, 5 November, 2004, 09:33 GMT
US election: African reaction
Leaders and commentators across Africa are reacting to George W Bush's victory in the US election. BBC News selects some of their comments.

South Africa

South African President Thabo Mbeki said he was "looking forward to continuing to work with President Bush to deal with the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment and to continue to co-operate on other bilateral issues".

George W Bush in Botswana
Africans are wondering what Bush's victory means for them
"We hope for renewed support for and interest in Africa and the developing world, reform of world institutions, and an era of multilateralism marked by social progress for all."

"South Africans are bemoaning a black day for the world and its poorest continent - Africa - as George Bush gets ready for another for another term in office" - South Africa's Star.


"I think we are going to see more dictatorship on an international scale... We are going to see even more isolation where Americans will not bother about the United Nations" - Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori, speaking in a personal capacity.

"The world has no choice but to accept that what Bush says represents America's body and soul... which is why we must ultimately accept the choice the Americans make, even if we do not agree." - Kenya's Times

"It would be nice to think Bush will find time to repair the rupture in the UN brought about by his invasion of Iraq and look kindly on the developing world. But will he?" - Kenya's Standard


"America and the world are now faced with the daunting task of preserving humanity... After four years, Mr Bush should begin to show that America's interest in the world is not driven by moral absolutism and sheer unilateralism." - Nigeria's Guardian


"President Bush and his administration have supported us in the fight against HIV/Aids and this support is expected to continue." - President Yoweri Museveni

"A Bush victory is yet another demonstration that the standard of global politics is very low and only charlatans, liars, duplicitous and cruel politicians need aspire for success...

It seems fear has won and the nightmare from it will not be limited to the shores of the US in the next four years." - Uganda's New Vision

Democratic Republic of Congo

"Be it Bush or Kerry, neither of them will care about the DR Congo people." - Le Potentiel

"One cannot remain indifferent to this big event that will have repercussions on DR Congolese politics... The elected president will have to pay attention to the evolution of the political situation in DR Congo because it is a country to be reckoned with." - L'Avenir


"President Bush's victory is testimony that Americans cherish peace, unity and freedom." - President Bingu wa Mutharika


"I wish to extend to you, on behalf of the people and government of Eritrea and on my own behalf, warmest congratulations for your re-election as president of the United States.

"We are reassured by your re-election as it will add more vigour to the war against international terrorism which has assumed a critical dimension at this period." - President Isaias Afewerki


"Unilateralism will be the order of the day instead of multilateralism with the rest of the world... The American interest will be pushed more throughout the world." - Radio Benin, Cotonou


"Despite President Wade's efforts to get closer to the United States, there will no significant change in the relations between the two countries following the election." Commentary in Le Populaire.

Your reaction

What do you make of the US election and its electoral process?

The world watched as the US election again headed for complicated ballot checks and legal wrangling, before challenger John Kerry admitted defeat.

African observers of the election have said the process was "lousy".

But is any electoral system perfect? Is there a better way to enable the people to express their will? Let us know your views using the form below.

A selection of your comments will broadcast on BBC Focus on Africa on Saturday 6 November at 1700 GMT.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I think the American electoral process was far better this time and can be a model for us Africans to emulate. It was transparent, fair, and peaceable as well as giving the American people the opportunity to make their choice without any impediment. Congratulations to the American populace.
Paul Payway, Dallas, TX, USA

The American election affects the whole world, so the whole world should have a say on who becomes the president of the USA. Every country should have a pro rata vote and all the foreign votes would summate to, say, 10% of the national vote.
Yohannes, Eritrea

Since there is so much controversy about the fairness of the presidential election process in the US, the country should develop and adopt a universal method that can be applied in all states. This would certainly prevent elections scandals like the one that took place in Florida in year 2000. Furthermore, the electoral college voting system may have outlived its usefulness and should be replaced by something simpler and more akin to modern realities. Any voting system that puts recounting in jeopardy is suspect for unfairness and therefore undemocratic to say the least.
Saccoh, Trenton, Canada

Africans need to evolve their own forms of democratic government, based on the consensual nature of so many of their tribal customs. This implies ceding authority down the political scale, which is necessary so as to involve the many different ethnic groups usually to be found in the average African State.
John Warder, Henley, UK

I honestly believe there is no perfect electoral system anywhere in the world. The last presidential elections in the United States clearly attested to this. However, democratic nations must evolve a dynamic way of getting people to exercise their civic rights. The United States of America is a shiny example of where everyone is involved and the leaders are alive to their responsibility of making sure that the process is smooth, fair and hitch-free.
Oluwole Franklyn-Ayeni, New Jersey/USA

Although the electoral college at one point served a purpose, I feel that today every vote should count. Having voted in the US election in a state not crucial to the final outcome of the election (ie. Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc.)I was frustrated by a lack of feeling that my vote really counted. Therefore I feel that majority vote should overrule the electoral college.
Alise Osis, Jimma, Ethiopia

"African observers qualify US elections lousy?" My goodness, how many Africans have ever made it to a ballot box in their own countries? After elections in democratic countries like America, winner celebrates and loser concedes, as simple as this. An African loser heads to the hills and bushes to avoid being brutalised by the victor. So now speak about lousy election.
Ghebru, Groningen Holland

First thing first, USA should amend their constitution - something that is far-fetched in the near future considering the nature of the constitution to resist change in the first place. The present system where electoral schools get 100% of the votes of the majority is unfair and flawed. The 2000 elections has shown the world this. Since USA is the most aggressive proponent of democracy today, it is very important that they set a standard for the rest of the world. The closer to perfect the better.
Sarah Tang, Singapore

The Constitution is the backbone of the American democracy- it shouldn't be easy to change. That said, I would love to see the electoral college abolished too. It stands in the way of an otherwise wonderful democratic system. As to the statements I've heard about other countries getting to vote on the American president, that is ridiculous. Sure, the American election affects the whole world. So does the election- or any other means of taking power- of several other countries. That alone does not give the world the right to elect the American president. This may be a global age, but each country has the right to democratically elect its OWN leader by itself. I can't imagine being given the power to elect, say, the Prime Minister of Germany, or the leader of Thailand.
Kati, Indiana, USA

In a new world order, with a unilateral force ruling the world today, I guess it is only fair that the election of an American President be subject to world view. Representatives from all over the world should have a say in who leads the US for the coming four years. Just then, an electoral college might be the right electoral system to choose.
Marwan Zaki, Cairo, Egypt

I don't trust the West especially America when it comes to the term elections. It is very confusing; therefore I cannot recommend or encourage Africa to adopt that system at all. Africans have had the best electoral systems before European colonisation; they used to elect their chiefs democratically and peacefully. I think Africans cannot leave their rich traditional systems of good governance and relent themselves to the so called Western democracies which have been dictated to by the World Bank and International Monetary Funds (IMF).
Peter Tuach, Sudanese, Minnesota, USA

If, as it is held, that the electoral college was in fact developed in US to safeguard the presidency from being taken over by sheer majority, that is a moderating power in the election, that it is the major way to stop the tyranny of the majority then Africans must move to develop her own instruments of democracy. It is sad that America, with all the high standards in technology still has the lowest level of voter turnout in the world. The major reason for this is that many voters feel their votes do not count. However, the beauty of all this is the technology in America allows all the voting process to end below 24 hours that would make even a keen manipulator of votes fail badly. So long as the US constitution is in place unamended, the minorities will forever remain where they are, unheard.
Joseph Okech, From Kenya but currently in Denton, Texas, USA

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