Shock and awe greet Trump elec­tion vic­tory

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com LAIGNEE BAR­RON laignee@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

In an up­set few pre­dicted, Repub­li­can can­di­date Don­ald Trump was de­clared the US elec­tion vic­tor last night, with the NLD’s U Win Htein pon­der­ing what that will mean for Myan­mar.

MYAN­MAR joined the rest of the world’s largely shocked re­sponse to the US elec­tion re­sults yes­ter­day.

In an ex­plo­sive up­set that ran con­trary to nearly all po­lit­i­cal polls prior to the vote, Repub­li­can can­di­date Don­ald Trump won the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in a tight race (see re­lated sto­ries pages 12-13).

Se­nior Na­tional League for Democ­racy of­fi­cial and spokesper­son U Win Htein said yes­ter­day that he feared US in­ter­est in Myan­mar would de­cline un­der a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mr Trump, who has no prior na­tional po­lit­i­cal record, has cam­paigned on a largely iso­la­tion­ist for­eign pol­icy out­look. He has pledged to re­move the US from al­liances and se­cu­rity com­mit­ments world­wide.

By con­trast, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton had con­sid­ered the rap­proche­ment of re­la­tions with Myan­mar as one of her crown­ing achieve­ments as sec­re­tary of state, and had forged a friend­ship with State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I wanted Hil­lary Clin­ton to win in the elec­tion,” U Win Htein said yes­ter­day. “Trump would not even know where Myan­mar is, if asked. So the US’s re­la­tion­ship with Myan­mar is likely to suf­fer.”

In an anal­y­sis pub­lished ear­lier this week, Brook­ings In­sti­tute an­a­lyst and fel­low Thomas Wright said, “If Trump tries to im­ple­ment his world­view, he could ig­nite a new world cri­sis.”

Mr Trump has sug­gested hav­ing other coun­tries pay for the US de­fence bud­get, and has said he will im­pose tar­iffs. Asian stock mar­kets mostly dipped yes­ter­day shortly after Trump be­gan lead­ing the elec­tion count. Chi­nese, Hong Kong, Sin­ga­porean and Ja­panese stocks were all down, re­flect­ing what sev­eral eco­nomic an­a­lysts said was a pe­riod of un­cer­tainty and worry.

In a state­ment re­leased shortly after Ms Clin­ton con­ceded yes­ter­day, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional called on Mr Trump to com­mit to up­hold­ing hu­man rights and to drop his “poi­sonous rhetoric”.

“The xeno­pho­bic, sex­ist and other hate­ful re­marks made by Trump have no place in govern­ment,” Mar­garet Huang, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Amnesty In­ter­na­tional USA, said.

U Win Htein said he will have to “wait and see” whether Don­ald Trump as pres­i­dent ful­fills his anti-im­mi­grant and anti-Mus­lim blus­ter.

“We have to wait and lis­ten to what he has to say about Myan­mar,” he said. Not all were so hes­i­tant to greet the new pres­i­dent-elect yes­ter­day, how­ever.

In a post on Face­book, Ko Nay Shwe Th­way Aung, for­mer dic­ta­tor U Ne Win’s grand­son, welcomed the US elec­tion re­sult with a mes­sage di­rected at “Mr Trump”.

“Not very long ago I started to sup­port, you now be­came my in­spi­ra­tion,” he wrote in English. “You act bet­ter than any­one else, have strongly sur­passed the ob­sta­cles and cleared the doubt that might have rooted in bil­lions of peo­ple … Thank you for the ex­tra­or­di­nary way you have shown.”

Mr Trump won the elec­tion last night, but lost the pop­u­lar vote. He gained 59,132,367 votes to Hil­lary Clin­ton’s 59,297,363 votes. This is only the fifth pres­i­den­tial elec­tion where the win­ner lost the pop­u­lar vote.

Photo: EPA

An at­tendee watches a live broad­cast dur­ing a US elec­tions event at the US am­bas­sador’s res­i­dence in Yan­gon yes­ter­day.

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