A coup attempt is seemingly underway in the former British colony of the United States of America after a disputed election and refusal of the ruling party to accept the results.
The incumbent leader President Donald Trump and his legal team have begun systematic pressure on local officials to reverse gains made by the opposition in recent November 3 election.
On Friday, Trump’s campaign lawyer Sydney Powell declared that the president had won the vote by “a landslide” despite scant evidence and electoral observers confirming that challenger Joe Biden had won the popular vote by millions of votes.
"We will not be intimidated…We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom."—Sidney Powell pic.twitter.com/8KCEOGuL7w— GOP (@GOP) November 19, 2020
But quirks in the former colony’s democratic system means that winning the majority in a presidential election was not enough. Candidates must instead win enough electoral “points” and ‘electors’ in each provinces (known as states) to then nominate the candidate to be president.
According to local dissident papers in the US, Trump’s campaign has been pressuring these so-called ‘electors’ to not follow outcome of the election and vote “on their conscience” and keep the incumbent in power.
Reports are that Trump consigliere Rudy Giuliani has also been making call to local election officials to discount ballots and throw out votes not in favor of the president.
In recent weeks, Trump has also fired high profile military officials inside the Department of Defense and replaced them with close loyalists – a move that has raised alarms in the opposition camp.
The United States has in the past accused regional neighbours of carrying out similar coup attempts and holding sham elections. Most recently, the US threw into question electoral results in Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro’s re-election in 2018 and said that Madura had suppressed the opposition and democratic institutions to gain power.