Trump's victory 'interesting, unprecedented' - US ambassador

2016-11-09 19:16
(Christopher Dolan,  The Citizens’ Voice via AP)

(Christopher Dolan, The Citizens’ Voice via AP)

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Pretoria – Republican Donald Trump’s election victory was "interesting" and "unprecedented," US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard said on Wednesday.

"It’s an interesting outcome and presents some compelling questions for Americans and their allies after today, after January 20th," he said, referring to the date of the inauguration.

He was speaking before Trump’s victory was official, but it was already clear that he would beat his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Gaspard said many people, including pundits and the media, had got their predictions wrong. Many media houses and polls conducted ahead of the elections had Clinton snatching victory.

"We are seeing some unprecedented results for those of us who cut their teeth in the American electoral politics. I think a lot of my friends back at home who have made a living out of polling might have to look for new jobs."

However, the results were a reflection of its people’s hopes and aspirations.

"Over 120 million Americans came out and were able to give expression to their hopes and aspirations for their communities and nation."

They were able to do it in a free, transparent and safe environment, despite some heated rhetoric during campaigning.

"That speaks to the strength of the American people, the hopefulness of our democracy, the vibrancy of our independent media, judiciary, civil society, and the values that Americans share."

Gaspard was optimistic about relations between South African and the US. He praised President Barack Obama for his leadership over the past eight years. Gaspard worked on both his campaigns.

"I’m enormously proud of what he helped to do to strengthen the bond of our people, to project our strength in the world with a dignity that will continue to serve us well beyond what he decides to do beyond January 20."

As a result of his leadership, the American people were little stronger than they were when he walked through the door eight years ago, he said.

 

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us 2016 elections

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