Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton to win US presidency


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Billionaire businessman beats former secretary of state, who calls to congratulate him on his victory.

Donald Trump is the next president of the United States after a long, bitter and divisive election campaign.

Projections early on Wednesday showed that Trump clinched victory over Hillary Clinton to become the 45th US president-elect after securing the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

Speaking to his supporters in New York after clinching victory, Trump said that Clinton had congratulated him on his win.

“I have just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory … and I congratulated her and her family on a very very hard-fought campaign.”

Trump said it was “time for us to come together”, pledging to be president “for all Americans”.

Clinton’s campaign team said the Democratic candidate would speak on Wednesday morning.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from New York, described the result as “a political bombshell that we haven’t seen in modern history”.

The 2016 US election caught the attention of hundreds of millions around the world with dramatic moments in the campaign grabbing headlines for more than a year.

Trump was seen as the least likely candidate to win in what was an extremely a tight race.

A former reality TV star, Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Since then, the billionaire businessman from New York has consistently alienated minority groups, refused to release his tax returns and remained seemingly unapologetic for leaked tapes in which he brags about sexually assaulting women.

Global markets fell as the projected results emerged amid fears that a Trump presidency could cause financial turmoil.

The dollar lost value against other currencies, and the Mexican peso saw its steepest dive in more than 20 years, plummeting 8 percent at one point. Oil futures also declined.

Clinton had a slim lead in the polls but no one was ruling out a Trump victory. A polling average by tracker site RealClearPolitics gave Clinton a 3.3-percentage point national lead.

The 69-year-old former first lady, senator, and secretary of state – who was backed by incumbent President Barack Obama – on Monday urged the country to unite and vote for “a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America” in her last effort to woo voters.

Trump, meanwhile, pressed his message with voters who feel left behind by globalisation and social change, wrapping up with a flourish on his protectionist slogan of “America first”.

Promising to end “years of betrayal,” tear up free trade deals, seal the border, halt the drug trade and subject Syrian refugees to “extreme vetting”, Trump told his supporters in New Hampshire: “I am with you and I will fight for you and we will win.”

Clinton had pushed a more optimistic vision, despite a wobble in the final weeks of her campaign when the FBI re-opened an investigation into whether she had put US secrets at risk by using a private email server – only to close the probe again on Sunday. The email investigation allowed Trump to recover ground lost in a series of recent scandals.

World leaders reach out

As Trump celebrated his victory in New York, congratulations from world leaders poored in, with Egypt and Russian among the first nations to reach out to the president-elect.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin was hoping to work with Trump to improve relations.

Putin “expressed hope for mutual work on bringing US-Russia relations out of their critical condition as well as on working out outstanding issues on the international agenda” in his congratulatory telegram, the Kremlin said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke to Trump on the telephone, also seeking to foster closer diplomatic ties, an Egyptian presidency statement said.

“The US President-elect Donald Trump expressed his utmost appreciation to the president, pointing out that his was the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election,” the statement said.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim expressed hopes that bilateral ties would strengthen under new US leadership. The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had strained relations with Barack Obama’s Democratic administration but Yildirim welcomed in the new Republican flagbearer.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that he “congratulates the elected American president, Donald Trump, and hopes that peace will be achieved during his term”.

An Abbas aide, Saeb Erekat, said he doesn’t expect US positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to change under Trump. Erekat said the Republican and Democratic parties are both committed to a two-state solution of the conflict and “I think this will not change with the coming administration”.

Source: Al Jazeera News

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