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US Elections Takes Centre Stage

Nov 04, 2020

By Naadiya Adams

03:11:2020

The world’s largest democracy heads to the polls today. It has been a tough race to the Presidency as candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump go head to head on election day. 

Americans will begin casting their votes and the turnout this year is expected to far surpass previous election numbers while early voting has already surged to levels never before seen in US elections – 98.7 million early votes have been cast either in person or by mail.

Radio Islam’s Moulana Sulaiman Ravat chats to Sa’eed Khan, co-author of What’s Going on Here: US Experiences of Islamophobia between Obama and Trump, who sheds some light on what has been described as the most important election in the country’s history.

Khan explains how the final day of rallying for both parties came through as affirmations of the ongoing campaigns seen by both Biden and Trump in recent months, though Trump’s final words have shown traces of desperation.

The battleground states in the Mid-West region; Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania where Trump held his final rallies on Monday are a point of contention. While Biden seemingly holds much of the support in this region, they are the very same states that Hilary Clinton in 2016 believed she would win – only to have them snatched from under her by Trump. 

The polls appear to lean in Biden’s favour, but as the day progresses, anything can happen. Khan believes that there is a possibility that President Trump will contest the election in the event that he loses, based on recent efforts by Trump to have votes discredited in some states.

Bringing it home, Moulana Ravat talks to local analyst Ntsikelelo Benjamin Breakfast about how the US election will affect South Africa and the African continent at large.

“America is regarded as the founding father of democracy, so it is seen as an example of a democracy that other countries on a global scale can look up to, despite its ups and downs,” says Breakfast.

According to Breakfast, South Africa has a strategic interest in the electoral outcome in the US since America is a huge trade partner for South Africa. Breakfast detected a lack of commitment to developing the African continent during the Trump administration and notes how the trade war between China and America negatively affected the South African economy and GDP.

South Africans and the world will watch closely, as the superpower that is the US heads to the polls. 

Listen to the podcast here – Sa’eed Khan

Listen to the podcast here – Ntsikelelo Benjamin Breakfast

 

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