The American people voted out Donald Trump. But the current president continues to cling to power. The parallels to former or still active potentates are disturbing.
He still doesn’t want to accept it. Even eleven days after the US presidential election, Donald Trump persistently refuses to admit his defeat to Joe Biden – even if he hinted at a first insight at a press conference. You can see more about this in the video above or here.
On Twitter, however, he continues his story of the allegedly stolen election and the gigantic fraud. He sends armies of lawyers into the field, but they have so far provided no evidence to support the harsh allegations.
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Is it narcissism, as some believe, that a defeat in the 74-year-old’s self-image should obviously not occur? Or is it perhaps a big political show, as is also assumed, with which Trump is preparing a possible comeback in four years? Whatever the motivation, the appearance of the incumbent President of the United States of America arouses worrying associations. Of course, Donald Trump faced a free and fair election. Nonetheless, he now places himself in a row with those in power who only accepted the will of the people if it was aligned with their claim to power. A small selection.
Laurent Gbagbo, Ivory Coast
The president of the West African country refused to admit defeat to challenger Alassane Ouattara in autumn 2010. While the country’s independent electoral commission and international observers saw a clear victory for Ouattara, the Constitutional Council, dominated by Gbagbo’s supporters, raised charges of fraud and manipulation and canceled the election.
Laurent Gbagbo: Removed from office in a coup. (Source: Peter Dejong / Reuters)
As a result, riots broke out. Gbagbo had the borders closed. His army hunted down suspected Ouattara supporters and began ethnic cleansing. An estimated 3,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced. In April 2011, Ouattara-loyal troops with French and UN support detained Gbagbo in his residence in Abidjan. He was later extradited and charged with war crimes in The Hague. Gbagbo now lives in Belgium and is waiting for the proceedings there.
Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
Venezuela’s incumbent president also has certain problems with free elections. That is why he sets it up right from the start in such a way that the opposition hardly has a chance. In 2018, Maduro moved the presidential elections forward by several months at short notice and excluded key opposition candidates from participating. Maduro’s opponents spoke of a show event and called for a boycott of the election.
Nicolas Maduro: Systematically restricts the opposition in Venezuela. (Source: Manaure Quintero / Reuters)
The result was historically low voter turnout – and as expected, Nicolas Maduro won. Donald Trump then condemned the Venezuelan leadership’s actions as an attempt to “corrupt a democratic election” and imposed severe sanctions.
Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia
The former Serbian president clung doggedly to power long after the people had turned away from him. In September 2000 he lost to his challenger Vojislav Kostunica in the presidential election of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who won more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round. Milosevic nevertheless declared himself the winner. The result was mass protests. Milosevic gave up, also because he had lost the support of the military.
Slobodan Milosevic: Bowed to pressure from the street and high-ranking military in 2000 and abdicated. (Source: Reuters)
But the ex-president stayed in the headlines: Milosevic was arrested in 2001 after a 36-hour shootout between his bodyguards and the police. In response to international pressure, the Serbian government extradited the then 60-year-old to the UN war crimes tribunal, where he was charged, among other things, with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the war in Yugoslavia. Milosevic died before a judgment could be reached in March 2006.
Robert Mugabe, Simbabwe
The long-term ruler secured his rule several times by intervening in elections. For example in 2008: The first round of voting went clearly to Mugabe’s challenger Morgan Tsvangirai. In the days that followed, however, riots broke out, fueled by Mugabe’s supporters. There were dozens of fatal attacks on Tsvangirai’s fellow campaigners, which is why the challenger withdrew from the second round of the election. Mugabe secured power again in a highly controversial election in 2013, before being ousted from power in a 2017 coup.
Robert Mugabe: Is celebrated by supporters at the airport in Harare (Zimbabwe) in September 2008. (Source: Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters)
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus
The president, who has ruled with a hard hand for 26 years, is the most recent example of an autocratic leader who does not feel bound by election results. He claims to have won the presidential election in August with over 80 percent of the vote. But there are indications of massive manipulation. The European Union as well as the USA do not recognize the result.
Since then, tens of thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets every week, people from all walks of life. They defy the violence of the security forces and the arbitrary arrests. Countless witnesses have reported ill-treatment in the prisons and some detainees were even killed. But Lukashenko is gripping power, also because he knows that his big neighbor Russia is holding a protective hand over him.
Alexander Lukashenko: Declared the winner after the controversial presidential election in August. (Source: Nikolai Petrov / BelTA / Reuters)
Such scenarios are actually inconceivable in the USA. And so far, the authorities and the judiciary have proven to be very steadfast despite the constant fire from the White House. Nonetheless, one word has crept into the public discussion in the USA in the past few days that was never uttered there in connection with the presidential elections: The talk is of an attempted coup.
The historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat. said in a video shared on Twitter: “A man of authoritarian temperament like Trump, used to wielding power and being worshiped 24/7, and always being able to humiliate others, becomes the prospect See loss of office as a kind of psychological annihilation. And he will try everything to drag others with him. “