A group of European election observers visiting the United States to monitor the presidential election delivered their preliminary findings on Wednesday, criticizing President Donald Trump for his repeated lies about electoral fraud and the integrity of the election.
At a press conference, senior members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who have been invited to monitor the US elections since 2002, spoke of “the highly polarized political environment “and” acrimonious rhetoric “on both sides.
While stressing that they were non-partisan and would not deliver political assessments, European observers still kept their most damning comments for Trump himself.
“Unfounded allegations of systematic deficiencies, especially by the outgoing president, including on election night, undermine public confidence in democratic institutions,” said Michael Georg Link, German special coordinator and head of the mission OSCE Parliamentary Assembly short-term observation.
Urszula Gacek, Polish official at the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, also highlighted Trump’s actions.
“The enormous effort made by election workers … enabled voters to vote despite legal and technical challenges and the outgoing president’s deliberate attempts to weaken confidence in the electoral process,” she said.
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Last month, former election observers and academics who study these monitors told BuzzFeed News they suspected Trump’s behavior would raise concerns about American democracy.
“If America uses the same formula we use overseas to see which countries are backing down in their democracy, then we will back down quickly,” said an American who had previously monitored elections on three continents but asked not to not be named because she hadn’t done so. I want to be seen as speaking on behalf of his current employer.
In one 24-page statement of preliminary findings, OSCE teams also raised concerns about the denial of the right to vote for voters.
But they seemed particularly shocked by the political rhetoric.
“The two main presidential candidates have accused each other of bribery, fraud, working for foreign interests, inability to lead and supporting extremist groups,” they wrote. “Of particular concern was the incumbent’s use of discriminatory and derogatory statements against individuals on the basis of their gender and origin.”
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Unlike Trump, who sought to wrongly declare oneself the winner in Tuesday’s election, with votes still counted in crucial states, visiting OSCE observers stressed that they were staying in the US because, as Link said, “the count continues “.
“Ensuring that every vote is counted is a fundamental obligation for all branches of government,” he said.
“The count continues,” Gacek added, “and this election is not over yet.”