Trump says US election should be delayed

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by Sebastian Smith

US President Donald Trump on Thursday floated an unprecedented delay to the 2020 election — which polls show him losing — but the suggestion drew cross-party fire and has virtually no chance of being accepted.

Trump, who faces Democrat Joe Biden on November 3, has no constitutional authority to change the date, which is set by law.

His repeated airing of the idea, however, broke with presidential custom, adding to tension in a country ravaged by fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and set on edge by bitterly partisan politics.

Washington, United States | AFP | Thursday 7/31/2020 – 06:41 UTC+8 | 705 words

UPDATES Trump quotes

by Sebastian Smith

US President Donald Trump on Thursday floated an unprecedented delay to the 2020 election — which polls show him losing — but the suggestion drew cross-party fire and has virtually no chance of being accepted.

Trump, who faces Democrat Joe Biden on November 3, has no constitutional authority to change the date, which is set by law.

His repeated airing of the idea, however, broke with presidential custom, adding to tension in a country ravaged by fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and set on edge by bitterly partisan politics.

Trump’s rationale was his claim, not backed by evidence, that large-scale use of mail-in voting as a way to protect voters during the pandemic will lead to mass fraud.

Mail-in voting will make it “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he said in a tweet.

“Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump asked.

Later at a press conference he again sought to cast doubt on the entire election.

“Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens,” he said.

Trump fired his initial tweet minutes after second quarter data showed a 32.9 percent annualized collapse in the economy compared to the first quarter, and down 9.5 percent compared to the same April-June period last year.

Economic pain and mass unemployment, together with what critics call incompetent management of the coronavirus crisis, is a big reason why Trump finds himself staring down the barrel of defeat in less than 100 days.

“Trump’s threat is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract,” the Democratic National Committee said in a statement.

“Trump can tweet all he wants, but the reality is that he can’t delay the election, and come November, voters will hold him accountable.” (AFP)

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