With all the controversy surrounding the 2016 presidential election in the United States, many of us assume that our elections were a singularity. However, in looking at the many other elections going on around the world, we can see a trend of corruption. Though Robert Mueller’s special investigation may seem like a big deal to many Americans, it is actually one of the least reactive responses to accusations of election tampering, when compared with similar conflicts in other parts of the world.
Last week Kenya held special elections for their presidency. This is the second election they’ve had for the position as the first election was found to be tampered with. The president of Kenya was immediately recalled and new elections were planned. However, the Supreme Court of Kenya delayed the special elections due to suspicions that there would be further tampering with the second round. Last week finally saw a new president for the Kenyan people after much controversy and suspicion in their elections.
The recent election in Hong Kong for their chief executive is under some heat after accusations that the Chinese government influenced the results of the election. Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, ran on a pro-Beijing platform despite the growing protests for independence within the people of Hong Kong. Many people are suspicious of the fact that the current chief executive received over 700 electoral votes while losing the popular vote. That, coupled with the fact that the election laws were recently changed to benefit pro-China candidates, created controversy around the election.
In Spain, the Catalan government held elections on a referendum to decide if Catalonia would become an independent state. However, on the day of elections, a very small number of Catalan citizens were actually able to vote. The Spanish government sent people to actually bar Catalonian citizens from getting in to vote as they saw the vote as treasonous and illegal. As a result, Spain revoked many of Catalonia’s rights as a fairly independent region and overthrew the president. Ex-president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont turned himself in last week to the police in Brussels to await trial in Spain.
The U.S. presidential election was not the only one of its kind, nor was it the only controversial election. Though many citizens are outraged about possible election tampering by the Russian government, it is interesting to see that election tampering is a trend that many countries throughout the world experience. While it is common in many developing nations, to find that it is possibly even affecting American elections is definitely worrisome.