Hilary Clin­ton wins mock elec­tions at US Em­bassy

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Ben Gar­cia

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.

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