Trump? Clinton? Really?
The world is watching the 2016 United States presidential election, as the country prepares to elect the successor to Barack Obama. Democrat Hilary Clinton would be the country’s first female leader, while Republican rival Donald Trump might be a first in a lot of other areas.
Updated polls will be published throughout the day, but official results aren’t likely to be known until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Czech time. A few locations in Prague will be staying open late to watch the results as they come in.
Both candidates have some strong ties to the Czech Republic.
The Donald’s first wife, Ivana, was born in Zlín and attended Charles University in Prague. The couple had three children – Donald. Jr. and Ivanka, both prominent figures in their father’s campaign, and younger brother Eric – who can be considered half-Czech.
Some of Ivana’s allegations against Trump from a 1990s court deposition had been used against the nominee during the campaign, but she backed off those to voice support for her ex-husband during the campaign. So has her mother, who called “Donik” the “sweetest person in the world” in an interview with local media earlier this year.
They aren’t the only Czech Trump supporters. Last month, Czech president Miloš Zeman voiced his support for Trump, echoing statements earlier made by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Hilary Clinton, meanwhile, also has some history with the Czech Republic. She and husband (and then-US President) Bill memorably met with Czech president Václav Havel and wife Olga in 1994, shortly after the establishment of the Czech Republic; footage of the Clintons in Prague can be seen in the films Olga and Citizen Havel.
She returned to the country a few years later for Havel’ inaugural Forum 2000 conference, which sparked controversy this year due to the Dalai Lama’s visit, and again in 2011 for Havel’s funeral at Prague Castle.
While effects from either side are certain be felt locally, it’s unlikely the election of either candidate will have a specific impact for the country; Clinton might have stronger political ties to the Czech Republic, but current president Miloš Zeman’s pro-Trump remarks could cancel that out.
Still, foreign policy between the two candidates differs dramatically, and the outcome of the election could have a pronounced impact on the rest of the world.
“There has arguably not been a US presidential election with so much at stake for the rest of the world since the second world war,” writes The Guardian.
In Europe, Clinton’s globalist policies would likely include strengthening ties with the EU, and assisting the Union through the murky Brexit process.
Trump’s isolationism, meanwhile, would likely lessen any impact of the US on the affairs of either the EU or NATO, of which the Republican has been an outspoken critic.
The Czech Republic might also feel repercussions of the candidate’s differing views on Russia; while Hilary is likely to take a strong anti-Russian stance that might include increased support for Ukraine in the ongoing conflict, Trump would certainly take the opposite approach – which happens to fall more in line with the views of the current Czech president.
But the market impact in Europe might be felt hardest, with economists warning that Trump’s protectionist policies could have negative impacts in the EU and the Czech Republic, writes local server Novinky.cz.
Clinton, meanwhile, has professed support for the Transatlantic Trade Agreement between the United States and European countries.
So who will it be? The results will be known in a matter of hours, but the long-term effects are still to come.