World celebrates Obama's re-election

2012-11-07 11:09

Jakarta — From his old school in Indonesia to a Japanese beach town that happens to share his name, people around the world cheered President Barack Obama's re-election on Wednesday.

The results of Tuesday's election were closely watched in many countries. Several US embassies held mock elections and threw parties as returns came in.

At Jakarta's Menteng 01 Elementary School, which Obama once attended, students happily marched with a poster of the president from one classroom to another after hearing that he had defeated Republican Mitt Romney to win a second term. "Obama wins ... Obama wins again," they shouted.

A statue of a young "Barry" Obama, as he was called as a child, stands outside the school.

"I want to be like him, the president," student Alexander Ananta said.

The news also thrilled Obama's former nanny in Indonesia, Evie, who became well known this year following reports of her struggles living in the conservative country as a transgender.

Friendly congratulations

"Hopefully, he will contribute to the betterment of not only American citizens, but to the world as well," said Evie, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

China's Foreign Ministry said President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiaobao phoned Obama to congratulate him. Vice President Xi Jinping, who is to begin taking over this week in China's once-a-decade leadership transition, phoned Vice President Joe Biden to congratulate him.

British Prime Minister David Cameron posted his regards on Twitter: "Warm congratulations to my friend @BarackObama. Look forward to continuing to work together."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a strained relationship with the American president over his policies on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, congratulated the president in a text message to reporters. "I will continue to work with President Obama to preserve the strategic interests of Israel's citizens," he said.

The Western-backed Palestinian Authority has been disappointed that Obama did not pressure Israel to make greater efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, including a freeze on all settlement construction.

In the absence of negotiations, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat urged the US president to reverse course and support Palestinian efforts to seek UN General Assembly recognition of an independent state of Palestine.

Little beach

"We have decided to take our cause to the United Nations this month, and we hope that Obama will stand by us," Erekat told Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.

In China, Obama's re-election was good news for people concerned about Romney's vow to label China a currency manipulator if elected. Some feared that would ignite a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

"His re-election is in line with what the Chinese people want," said Hong Zihan, a graduate student who monitored the results at a US Embassy event in Beijing.

For Obama, Japan, the president's re-election means more opportunity to capitalise on their shared name. Obama means "little beach" in Japanese.

The western coastal town threw a party as they watched the election returns. Hula dancers known as the Obama Girls swayed in homage of the president's home state of Hawaii, said Obama city hall official Hirokazu Yomo.

"Four more years," Yomo said. "So we are happy this will continue and help with building our city."

Focus on Asia

In Myanmar, which is pushing political reforms forward after five decades of military rule kept it isolated from much of the rest of the world, some said they were relieved Obama was re-elected because he chosen to engage rather than sanction their country.

"It is good that President Obama is re-elected. President Obama is very flexible and international relations have improved during his term," said Thit Oo, a 42-year-old car mechanic.

Washington has started focusing more on Asia since Obama took office. Some Asian countries, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have been looking more toward the US as tensions flare with China over disputed territories in the South China Sea.

"In Asia, he needs to fine tune the building of alliances without overtly appearing anti-China," Ramon Casiple, a political analyst in the Philippines, said of Obama. "At the same time, he needs to encourage countries with border disputes with China that he's on their side."

A spokesperson for the main Syrian opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council (SNC), expressed hope that the election victory would free Obama to do more to support those trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Military intervention ruled out

"We hope this victory for President Obama will make him free more to make the right decision to help freedom and dignity in Syria and all over the world," SNC spokesperson George Sabra said on the sidelines of an opposition conference on the Qatari capital of Doha.

Sabra renewed the opposition's appeal to the international community to supply rebel fighters with weapons.

The Obama administration and its Western allies have ruled out military intervention in Syria. The US has also been cool to opposition rebels' demands for weapons such as anti-aircraft missiles, out of concern that they could fall into the wrong hands.

The US and other foreign backers of the Syrian uprising have urged the fractured, largely exile-based opposition to unite and include more representatives from inside Syria.

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-11-07 11:33

    I doubt people of Benghazi, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, who their childred die everyday, because of Obama's drones airstrikes, searching for boogyman that do not exist are celebrating!

      joyce.beeton - 2012-11-07 11:51

      Children in these countries die every day from hunger too. Not to mention how children are forced into prostitution and are made to beg!!!

      james.hurley.1401 - 2012-11-07 11:52

      that would be George Bush's airstrikes - Obama has been trying to end the Middle East catastrophe of the Republican cowboys

      omo.naija.750 - 2012-11-07 13:07

      I have just being to a racist web forum and the reactions of the red neck bloggers there are so gratifying to me.They had no valid reason to dislike Obama except for what he looked like. By the way Donald Trump "The Hair" is freaking out on twitter calling for a revolution.Talk about sour grapes! I wonder if the crook will now donate the $3 million he want to pay for Obama's transcript to charity.

  • chikunga - 2012-11-07 11:38

    haters take that

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-07 11:45

    Except the Palestinians of course who've already communicated their indifference to the man occupying the Whitehouse!

      thabo.mdodo - 2012-11-07 12:09

      dey dnt like him cuase his black

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-07 12:19

      With all due respect, the Palestinians must first elect a government that is ready to make peace rather then try and force the world to punish Israel. Fact is, the world knows Israel wants peace and is ready to make compromises - they have already uprooted dozens of Israeli towns in Gaza in the name of peace but got rockets in return - Israel will uproot settlements in the West Bank for peace but CAN NOT do so without a partner on the other side.. The world is sick of the Palestinians continued talks of 'peace' in English and of holy-war, destruction and madness in Arabic. Obama's supports Israel (as per the debates) because he knows full well that the Palestinians are not ready for peace - for they are not ready for compromise.

  • nkululeko.mkhize2 - 2012-11-07 12:06

    Any word from Zimbabwe ?

      garie.kgee2 - 2012-11-07 13:02

      thanxs god

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-11-07 13:11

      I think Bob's phone out of order.

  • patrick.kweyi - 2012-11-07 12:26

    His great I wish him

  • morrisn2 - 2012-11-07 12:30

    My black president! Salute!!!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-11-07 12:40

    Well done, thank goodness. Otherwise the US would be attacking Iran and Syria very soon.

  • morris.khunou - 2012-11-07 12:42

    Congratulations to Obama and mostly American citizens for growing above the demon of race politics.

      fpstevens - 2012-11-07 13:52

      Yes, now if only South Africa could do the same.

  • lvhukeya1 - 2012-11-07 12:47

    GOOD for Obama but ZUMA must lose!!

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-11-07 12:48

    Rev 13:7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and languages, and nations. Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:9 If any man hath an ear, let him hear.

      fpstevens - 2012-11-07 13:54

      Seriously? We have Zuma and you choose to call Obama the "Antichrist", maybe if you pull your nose out of that book of fairy-tales called the bible and start living in the real world, people will start taking you more seriously.

      leon.marais.16 - 2012-11-07 14:45

      alles die is maar net illuminati en new world order se plan. hy is die illuminati se puppet en hulle speel met hom. wat ookal gaan gebeur vorentoe gaan niks vir die werleld en minder vir sa verander nie. WW3 is om die draai. hulle moet chaos saai, wat juis in die werled gebeur. dan kom die verlosser, miskien obama, wat mense gaan verlei. val nie vir hom of geen wereld leier nie want hulle behoort aan dieselfde organisasie.

      leon.marais.16 - 2012-11-07 14:50

      fpstevens wat ookal fp beteken, kan my eie afleiding maak. OBAMA is die antichrist en ek wil jou gevreet sien as daai fairy tail boek(alle respek) n reality word.

      fpstevens - 2012-11-07 20:33

      Leon, Wat ek glo of nie glo nie maak in elk geval nie saak nie, Volgens die bybel (Rev 7:1 & Rev 14:1)is daar voorsieneing vir 144,000 Mans om hemel to te gaan (en nie een vrou nie, en ek dag die bybel is anti-gay). So as dit alles uitdraai om waar te wees dan sal ek jou maar verwelkom in die ander plek sedert ek dink na 2000 jaar is die hemel seker al lankal voel geboek.

  • nhlapop - 2012-11-07 12:50

    Zuma respond. I ALSO WANT SECOND TERM. Any respond from Zimbabwe ???

  • Juda - 2012-11-07 12:51

    Thank God!

  • hellodanie - 2012-11-07 12:53

    This is great news for the whole world and for world peace.

      philip.vde - 2012-11-07 13:22

      There has never been world peace !! sound like an answer from a beauty pageant

  • rodney.seloane - 2012-11-07 13:10

    South Africa must learn from the best....Zuma 4 Second.....

  • veldt66 - 2012-11-07 13:10

    Obama for the World"""wether u like it or not

  • philip.vde - 2012-11-07 13:19

    After all his lies from the previous election people still go vote for him ... A very hard 4 years ahead of us

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-07 13:27

      Which politician ever tell the truth?

  • igshaanp - 2012-11-07 13:26

    eish seems 2 me alot of people support and back up illuminati

      VisionRI - 2012-11-07 15:46

      I would be very thrilled to understand why you would connect the illuminati to the election of the president of the US, because, maybe out of ignorance on my behalf, I disagree that the illuminati controls the presidents of the \free world\

      igshaanp - 2012-11-07 17:02

      do your homework and get back too me

  • ako.gutshwa.7 - 2012-11-07 13:28

    Well done mr president,well done. By the way how many wives does Obama have?

  • mpho.e.mogashui - 2012-11-07 13:56

    they must bulid him a blackhouse !!

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