A gaggle of visiting European election observers within the US to watch the presidential election delivered their preliminary findings on Wednesday, criticizing President Donald Trump for his repeated lies about voter fraud and the integrity of the election.
At a press convention, senior members of the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who’ve been invited to watch US elections since 2002, mentioned the “extremely polarized political setting” and “acrimonious rhetoric” from either side.
Whereas stressing they have been nonpartisan and wouldn’t ship political assessments, the European observers nonetheless saved their most damning feedback for Trump himself.
“Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, together with on election evening, hurt public belief in democratic establishments,” mentioned Michael Georg Hyperlink, a German particular coordinator and chief for the short-term observer mission from the OSCE Parliamentary Meeting.
Urszula Gacek, the Polish head of the OSCE Workplace for Democratic Establishments and Human Rights, additionally highlighted Trump’s actions.
“The big effort made by election staff … ensured that voters may solid their votes regardless of authorized and technical challenges and deliberate makes an attempt by the incumbent president to weaken confidence within the election course of,” she mentioned.
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Final month, former election observers and teachers who research such displays advised BuzzFeed Information they suspected Trump’s behavior would spark concerns over US democracy.
“If America makes use of the identical system that we use abroad to see what international locations are backsliding of their democracy, then we’re backsliding quick,” mentioned one American who had beforehand monitored elections throughout three continents however who requested to not be named as a result of she didn’t need to be seen to be talking for her present employer.
In a 24-page statement of preliminary findings, the OSCE groups additionally outlined issues about voter disenfranchisement.
However they appeared notably shocked by the political rhetoric.
“The 2 main presidential candidates accused one another of corruption, fraud, working for international pursuits, an incapacity to steer, and help for extremist teams,” they wrote. “The incumbent president’s use of discriminatory and pejorative statements towards people on the grounds of their gender and origin was of specific concern.”
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Not like Trump, who has sought to falsely declare himself the victor in Tuesday’s election regardless of votes nonetheless being tallied in essential states, the visiting OSCE observers pressured they have been remaining within the US as a result of, as Hyperlink mentioned, “the depend goes on.”
“Ensuring that each vote is counted is a elementary obligation for all branches of presidency,” he mentioned.
“The depend continues,” added Gacek, “and this election just isn’t but over.”