The tables have turned as a group of former leaders from around the world on Wednesday called on the United States — a cheerleader for installing democracy abroad — to carry out its own credo.
In a joint statement, a group of former world leaders known as “The Elders” sounded the alarm about the future of American democracy amid President Donald Trump’s ongoing refusal to accept his loss in the 2020 presidential election and move on.
“The continued assertions of electoral fraud by the President and some senior members of the Administration and of the Republican Party, offered as yet without any compelling evidence, convey a lack of respect for the integrity and independence of the democratic and legal institutions of the United States,” the group wrote.
“President Trump should follow the example set by his predecessors and declare himself willing to accept the verdict cast by the American people at the ballot box,” they added.
The statement from the group, which includes former presidents of Colombia, Finland, Mexico, and Norway, as well as former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, among others, comes as Trump tweeted late Wednesday that he “will win” an election that has been over for almost a week when President-elect Joe Biden emerged last Saturday as its victor.
Trump and many of his GOP allies have launched a baseless crusade on the integrity of the vote that, without evidence, appears to be fizzling in court. Desperate to hold onto power, Trump allies have even suggested that GOP-controlled state legislatures should overrule the will of the people in states carried by Biden to toss a win to Trump.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a “second Trump administration” while rebuffing concerns from reporters who asked if the President’s unwillingness to concede reflected poorly on the nation’s efforts abroad to reinforce democracy in foreign elections.
The team of leaders chastised the President and his allies for undermining those efforts while putting the country’s national security at risk, noting “those who stand to benefit from the current impasse are autocratic rulers and malign actors” seeking to erode democratic institutions.
The Elders called on Republican leaders to “act responsibly” and support a smooth transition.
“Continued baseless accusations of subversion risk further deepening the instability and polarisation in American society, and eroding public faith in institutions that is the bedrock of democratic life,” they wrote.