PM declines to condemn Trump speech



November 05, 2020


Scott Morrison has declined to criticise President Donald Trump’s call to stop the votes urging “patience” and praising the US as a “great democracy”.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was very careful about what he said about the US President. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dylan CokerSource: News Corp Australia


By Samantha Maiden


Scott Morrison has declined to criticise President Donald Trump’s call to stop the votes urging “patience” and praising the United States as a “great democracy”.

The Prime Minister made his first public comments on the US election after his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull urged Americans to “count every vote” overnight.

“I’m not a participant in the US political process. I’m a partner,” Mr Morrison said.

“Australia is a partner with the United States and we respect the decisions that the American people make in their democracy.

“And we’ll be patient and we’ll await the outcome of their process. It’s not for me to run a commentary on those things and I won’t. I work with the President of the United States as the Prime Minister of Australia and I enjoy add very productive working relationship with the President and I will always put Australian’s interest first in that relationship.”

Asked how worried he was about the situation, Mr Morrison said he respected the process.

“Well, the great thing about the United States, it is a great democracy and it does have great institutions,” he said.

“I think, you know, a great democracy, having a great election with the greatest turnout it’s ever seen in its history is actually a demonstration of democracy working.”

Foreign minister Marise Payne said on Thursday it was imperative that every vote is counted.

“The US systems and processes which have been in place for a very long time now, which underpin that democratic process, they will deliver an outcome,” Senator Payne said.

“What is important is that every vote is counted. And I’m sure that they will be. I’m absolutely confident that they will be.”

Earlier, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged America to “count every vote”.

The former Prime Minister and Labor frontbenchers formed a unity ticket last night demanding that the United States guarantee voters voiced are heard.

Mr Turnbull famously clashed with President Trump during a fiery phone call early in his presidency.

He also shared a story that described Mr Trump’s extraordinary threat to stop the votes as a dark and disturbing moment in American history.

“Count every vote,” Mr Turnbull said.

Liberal MP Dave Sharma said President Trump must respect the views of voters.

“Above all else, being a democratic leader means respecting the verdict of the voters, the sanctity of the process, and facilitating a peaceful transfer of power when needed,” he said.

“Patience and humility are both necessary virtues.”

While Labor leader Anthony Albanese did not directly comment on the US election, he retweeted comments by Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong.

“Americans have voted in historic numbers in this election,” she said.

“They deserve to have their voices heard.

“The democratic process must be respected, even when it takes time.

“It’s in Australia’s interest that America remains a credible, stable democracy.”

Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen went further comparing the US to a developing democracy.

“If this were a developing democracy, Australia would probably issue a statement about now demanding that rule of law be respected, that every vote be counted, that we will be closely monitoring,” he said.

Former US ambassador Joe Hockey said a Biden victory was now likely.

“Likely, but don’t get ahead of your skis. Donald Trump is not going to take losing lightly,” he said.

“He has also just claimed Pennsylvania. There’s going to be a lot of court action. It would be a mistake to say it’s all settled because it’s just not. (Trump) hates losing and doesn’t accept he loses and usually reverts to litigation.”

Mr Hockey described the US electoral counting system as “a complete dog’s breakfast.”.

The Prime Minister’s remarks are reflective of the remarks of many world leaders.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also declined to directly criticise Mr Trump’s conduct.

“We don’t comment as a UK government on the democratic processes of our friends and allies,” he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also steered clear observing that Canada “is well-positioned and ready to continue to work with the American people and the American government, regardless of the outcomes”.

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