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US has always managed its elections in a 'peaceful and democratic way', says Taoiseach

Whoever wins, the Taoiseach plans to meet them next St Patrick’s Day in Washington DC.
Nov 4th 2020, 3:18 PM 11,757 27

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said the United States has always managed its elections in a “peaceful and democratic way” and he has no doubt that this will be the case on this occasion.

Speaking in the Dáil today about the election, he said the “sensible thing to do” is to allow the electoral process in the United States “take its course”.

“The election is not over. The last time I was listening to coverage of it, it seemed the race was going to very tight and there were many votes yet to be counted.

“The United States is one of the oldest democracies in the world. It has always managed its elections in a peaceful and democratic way and I have no doubt that this will be also be the case on this occasion.

“We should not jump to conclusions,” he said.

After a long night of counting, the result of the US presidential election is still very much up in the air with no clear winner projected.

Democrats’ hopes of a landslide Joe Biden victory will not happen, and Donald Trump has already threatened to go to the Supreme Court after claiming without evidence that the election is a fraud. 

It’s now getting towards the most crucial part of the count, with some of the swingiest swing states set to announce results of votes in key areas within the next few hours.

The Taoiseach said in the Dáil that it is “fraught time for all of those involved in the election”.

“It is a tense time, given how close it is,” he said, predicting that a result might not be known until later this week.

The Taoiseach was responding to People Before Profit’s Mick Barry who said he supported the call of the Socialist Alternative organisation in the United States for mass demonstrations and civil disobedience should Donald Trump “try to steal the election”.

Barry had asked if the Taoiseach would also support the call for mass demonstrations and civil disobedience.

No matter who wins out, the Taoieach has indicated that he plans to make the trip to Washington DC on St Patrick’s Day. 

In an interview with TheJournal.ie, Martin said the St Patrick’s Day celebration in the White House is “a significant one for Ireland” and is one that should be maintained.

When asked whether he is keen to make the trip Stateside next year, Martin said: 

“I think it is very important. All of that [meetings at the White House and Capitol Hill] creates a framework within which jobs can be created, which within Irish business can operate, in terms of exporting and importing.

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“The connection and the Patrick’s Day event is a significant one for Ireland, not the occupant of the office in terms of the Taoiseach.”

“It’s very, very important that we maintain that link, and that tradition, and obviously, it’s all very dependent on Covid, and everything else at the time next March. But we’re very keen as a government that key economic linkages are maintained,” he said.

This year, then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had to cut short his St Patrick’s Day trip to the US due to the evolving coronavirus situation back home. 

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Christina Finn

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