How events should have developed
Read on RBC Pro
By law, members of both houses of the American Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) should get together to a meeting on January 6 and approve the election results. The session was supposed to begin at 1 pm local time (21:00 Moscow time). This meeting is chaired by the Vice President of the United States, who is also the chairman of the Senate, it is he who must name the next president of the country.
According to the plan, election results papers from each of the 50 states and from the metropolitan DC are brought into the House of Representatives in mahogany caskets. Representatives from both parties, Republican and Democratic, read out the results. After the announcement of the results, any member of Congress may take the floor and declare his disagreement with the result. For complaints to be considered, they must be submitted in writing. In case of receipt of written objections, the congressmen disperse to their chambers, where they discuss the submitted objections and vote. A majority of votes is required for the result to be challenged.
Have there been problems in the past
The confirmation of the election results is the final step in summing up the results of the elections in the United States. In the vast majority of cases, this procedure was a simple formality. Since 1887, when the counting law was passed, there have been only three attempts to challenge the result, the last time 16 years ago. Then, in January 2005, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and Democratic Congressman Stephanie Tubbs Jones put to vote the issue of non-recognition of election results in Ohio. Both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, the majority did not support their initiative. As a result, both chambers recognized the victory of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat John Kerry.
Why are there problems this time
The current President Donald Trump throughout the election campaign pointed out numerous violations that were allegedly committed during the voting. One of the president’s main complaints was the mail-order vote, which became a record in this election due to the coronavirus epidemic.
After the voters’ vote on November 3, representatives of Trump’s headquarters, the Republican Party and his supporters filed about 60 lawsuits with various demands to cancel the election results in individual states. However, none of the lawsuits was developed, leads data news portal Vox. As a result, by January 6, all states, including those with Republican governors, recognized the voting results obtained in the states as legal. The results of the popular vote were supported at the second stage of the elections – the voting of electors on December 15 Then not a single member of the electoral college went against the will of the majority in his state. Trump then called on his supporters to defend the election results. After events in the Capitol area got out of police control, Trump issued an appeal urging protesters to go home. “We love you. You are very special … I know how you feel, but go home. ” said Trump.
What Trump Supporters Count on
Taking into account the existing balance of votes, the election results must be approved. In the Senate, Republicans have a majority (53 out of 100 senators), in the House of Representatives, the Democrats have a majority – 232 out of 435. However, the majority of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said they did not intend to object to the election approval. Nevertheless, 13 congressmen from the presidential party decided to file objections. American experts give several explanations for this. Among those who decided to protest the elections, relatively young and popular politicians – for example, Senator Ted Cruz, who considers it necessary not to recognize the election results in Arizona, however gave no reason… By submitting their objections, they show that they hear the concerns of their constituents. They can also count on votes from Trump supporters in their constituencies ahead of the 2022 by-election and 2024 presidential and congressional elections.
That the fight is going on at all is evidence of Trump’s continued influence. Bloomberg… The repercussions could spill over into the 2022 midterm elections – calls for objections to the results are more widespread among vulnerable Republicans in the House of Representatives, and may be challenged in the primaries during the campaign. “I think this is not only ridiculous, but also dangerous,” said former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman. “I find it amazing that people obey whoever lost the election because they are worried about primaries or fundraising.” It’s not about supporting Trump, but about the reaction to the sentiments of angry and disgruntled Trump supporters, according to Jason Miller, an adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016 and 2020.
“From the statement made by Trump in the evening, it is clear that this whole story was a projection of his inability to cope with his own ego and admit defeat. There were indeed questions about the voting, but Trump obviously did not have an adequate and intelligible plan to challenge the election results, ”Maxim Suchkov, associate professor at MGIMO, told RBC. The pumping of the Republican voter with negative rhetoric and theses about the stolen elections gave only the opposite result – the turnout in the key elections on January 6 in Georgia (the second round of the Senate elections was held there) among the Republicans was lower than expected, and the Republicans lost two seats, which they had in November. high odds, he points out.
How politicians in the US and around the world reacted
Former US presidents condemned what is happening. “This is how the election results are disputed in the banana republic, not in our democratic republic,” wrote George W. Bush. Democratic President Barack Obama believes that the events in Washington will be remembered as “a moment of great dishonor and shame”, for which he blamed Trump and the Republicans, whose “fantasy story” about the elections is drifting further from reality.
The leaders of the countries – allies of the United States also commented on the events in Washington. “When in one of the oldest democracies in the world, supporters of the incumbent in arms question the legitimate election results, the universal idea of one man, one vote is undermined,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in an address. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loewen believes that President Trump and many members of Congress bear significant responsibility for what happened. Member of the European Parliament and former head of the Polish Foreign Ministry Radoslaw Sikorski spoke out more radically – on his opinionTrump must be declared insane and removed.
Official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova statedthat in the United States there is a split in society. She named the reason for the archaic nature of the electoral system, which does not meet modern democratic standards and creates opportunities for numerous violations. “We wish the friendly American people to experience this dramatic moment in their own history with dignity,” Zakharova wrote.