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US presidential election: who does the world want to win?

• Election day Mad Libs: If Romney wins I will ______   

Israel and the Palestinians

Polls of all Israelis, not just immigrants from the US, have shown a majority in favour of ousting Obama and installing Romney in the White House.
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, is widely perceived to be rooting for a Romney victory, against all protocol. Many commentators have accused him of interfering in internal US politics in his eagerness to see an ideological soulmate in the White House.
Palestinians are watching the election campaign with cynicism. Many feel badly let down by Obama’s failure to force progress towards a Palestinian state, but they also know that Romney is unlikely to be a friend to their cause.
“Obama is not a saviour, and Romney will not be a devil,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation executive committee. “Neither one is a free agent; there is a US policy of bias and support for Israel.” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation executive committee.


Obama’s election provoked euphoria in his ancestral village in Kenya, as well as among African governments who scented a chance to move up the US’s list of priorities.
Four years later, there is largely a sense of deflation and, judging by column inches in the press, somewhat less enthusiasm for this year’s presidential race. Sub-Saharan Africa has barely been mentioned in the campaign and the feeling of apathy is mostly mutual.
Yet residual loyalty to Obama remains deep and, if Africa’s billion citizens got to vote, it seems likely he would win by a landslide.


The Obama-mania that swept Europe four years ago has faded fast amid transatlantic rows over the euro crisis, the administration’s failure to deliver on its promise to close down Guantánamo Bay, and the waning attention paid to Europe by the US.
But despite the fact that the centre-right remains in the ascendancy across most of Europe, disaffection with Barack Obama is not translating into support for Mitt Romney.
Quite the opposite. There is strikingly little support for the Republican contender whose gaffe-prone visit to Europe in July won him few friends and who regularly turns European welfarism and “entitlement societies” into points of mockery in his campaign speeches.


For many in China, the election is of relatively limited interest. Some will follow results avidly, but others are only concerned about the impact on China.
“I like Obama’s style. He is a very charming guy … Romney seems quite aggressive,” said Beijing-based marketing researcher Ming Ming, adding: “I’m more concerned about who will have better policy towards China.”
Zheng Jihua, an entrepreneur, said: “I don’t think it makes much difference whether it’s Obama or Romney.”


“Which one is better for Iran, Obama or Romney?” asked Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, a political activist and leader behind the US embassy hostage-taking after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“The answer is not very difficult,” he said, during the television debate. He was insinuating that Iran should be worried about the prospect of Romney winning.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, while speaking among to reporters in New York during a visit to the UN general assembly last month, refused to show support to either candidate.


With anti-Americanism creeping back to the forefront of political rhetoric in Moscow, many in Russia slyly smiled when Romney this year called Russia “our No 1 geopolitical foe”.
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, said the remark showed Romney was “open and sincere”. He added: “That Romney considers us enemy No 1 and apparently has bad feelings about Russia is a minus, but, considering that he expresses himself bluntly, openly and clearly, [this] means he is an open and sincere man, which is a plus
“We will be oriented toward pluses, not minuses. And I am actually very grateful to him for formulating his position in a straightforward manner.”


“After the last four years people now know that Americans are Americans and George Bush and Barack Obama are two sides of the same coin,” he said, damning US policy on the region, including the sharp increase in drone strikes and the troop surge in Afghanistan. No one is interested in this election because, whoever wins, US foreign policy is not going to change.”
Some suspect the country’s military establishment may harbour a stronger desire to see the back of Obama as his administration, in sharp contrast to that of George Bush (and Republican governments in general), was not afraid of playing rough with Pakistan, even at the expense of humiliating its armed forces.

Latin America

While most national leaders have remained diplomatically quiet about their preferences, the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, who is also fighting for re-election, has bucked the trend by stating his preference for Obama.
“I hope this doesn’t harm Obama, but if I was from the US, I’d vote for Obama,” Chavez said on state TV and indicated that he felt the admiration was mutual. “Obama is a good guy … I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he’d vote for Chavez.”
The US president is likely to pick up more Hispanic votes from the endorsement of the Mexican band Maná, who played a set at an Obama rally in Las Vegas this month. “We have the conviction that Obama is the best candidate for all Latinos,” said Maná frontman Fher Olvera. “Vote for the president who has cared most for Latinos and minorities.”

Arab world

Arabs watching the US presidential race are mainly interested in how the next administration will deal with the Arab spring – as well as the perennial question of the unresolved Palestinian issue.
Barack Obama has, in significant ways, failed to live up to the expectations he created in his long-awaited Cairo speech in June 2009. Many in the region say they see little difference between him and Romney, but Obama is probably still the preferred candidate.


For a place where US troops are still dying in their hundreds and for which billions of dollars are spent each year, Afghanistan has garnered very little attention over the election.
With a strange kind of symmetry Afghanistan might be dependent on US cash to keep its government afloat, and the US military to keep the Taliban at bay, but there is very little focus on the presidential race on the streets or in the TV studios of Kabul.
Some Afghans, however, are still hopeful the election will bring change, with aspirations not far different from those of US voters weary with the steady flow of young men and women returning home in coffins, and the steep cost of a war amid a struggling economy.
“I want to ask the US voters to select a man who will talk with the Taliban to end the war. We don’t want any more people to be killed, we want the economy to be fixed,” said 50-year-old Shah Agha Nazari, head of a local council in Kabul’s Neka Khana area.  MORE AT SOURCE


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