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Hilary Clinton wins mock elections at US Embassy

NEW YORK: US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech yesterday. – AFP
NEW YORK: US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech yesterday. – AFP

KUWAIT: Hillary Clinton won a mock election at the US Embassy on Tuesday night in Kuwait. Both US citizens and noncitizens participated in the event to celebrate Election Day, which was attended by diplomats and invited guests who shared their thoughts about the American elections and how significant this year’s polls are.

US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman said the elections mark the beginning of the presidential voting and democratic transition process in the United States. “Here in Kuwait, we will know the result only tomorrow, then we will begin the other great American – and international – pastime: Speculation about the likely policies of the new presidential administration. So the elections represent a beginning as much as the end of a long campaign,” he said.

Silverman was particularly elated to mention the growing numbers of Kuwaiti students in the US, and noted many of the visitors were graduates of American universities.  “As a result of your experiences in the United States, you may know more about the local politics in America’s states and towns than some of the commentators,” he said. “With 15,000 Kuwaitis currently studying in my country, many more will have experienced an American presidential election this year than ever before. We look forward to hosting even more Kuwaiti students at our universities,” he noted.

Silverman said US diplomats, embassy personnel and staff are nonpartisan because they all serve the president chosen by the American people. “The US constitution provides for presidential elections every four years; election of all members of the House of Representatives every two years; and election of a third of the members of the Senate every two years. Our constitution establishes the foundation of our representative democracy,” he said.

Silverman also mentioned the anticipation of many over the upcoming parliamentary elections in Kuwait. As inheritors of a democratic tradition, the ambassador said people have the responsibility of fostering this tradition for their benefit, but for generations to come. “Today, Americans all over the United States are exercising their right to vote for the next president, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, state legislatures, and on local initiatives, judges and more.  And thanks to absentee and early voting, many have already cast their ballots,” he added.

Silverman explained that in the US, the federal government does not organize elections, and this responsibility falls on the states. “It also falls on the states to ensure that the voting process is fair and transparent,” he said. The ambassador also quoted former President Woodrow Wilson, who said over 100 years ago: “I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being.” Silverman said the embassy will carry on its usual business of representing America and advancing its friendship with Kuwait, regardless of who wins. “The strategic partnership that the United States and Kuwait have built will continue regardless of which party inhabits the White House – because it is in our mutual interest,” he pointed out.

By Ben Garcia

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