Sunday May 31, 2020

Donald Trump elected as 45th US president

Financial markets were thrown into turmoil by the Republican's victory

9th November, 2016
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump cast their votes on Election Day at PS 59 November 8, 2016 in New York City. Trump's marathon final two days of campaigning marched through 10 cities in two days, stretching into Election Day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th president of the US after Wisconsin pushed him over the 270 Electoral College vote threshold needed to become president-elect.

Financial markets were thrown into turmoil at the prospect of a Trump victory with futures on the Standard & Poors 500 plunging by five per cent overnight, triggering trading limits. Mexico’s peso sank by the most in two decades on concern a Trump win would lead to more protectionist US trade policies.

The 70-year old real-estate developer and reality-TV star, a Republican who has never held public office, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by racking up wins in traditional Republican strongholds. But he also took crucial swing states such as Florida, North Carolina, Iowa and Ohio as well as winning in Pennsylvania, a state that has voted Democrat since 1992.

Both chambers of the US Congress are projected to remain under Republican control as the election dashed Democrats' hopes of taking over the Senate while keeping the House of Representatives in Republican hands. A few Senate races were still undecided but projections indicated that Democrats were unlikely to capture control of the 100-seat Senate.

Meanwhile, the dollar tumbled and gold jumped by the most since Brexit as markets absorbed the prospect of a sea change in US policies following the election of Trump, who has promised to tear up US trade agreements, called China the “grand master” of currency devaluation and argued that a strong dollar damages American competitiveness.

Addressing his supporters after his victory, Trump said he would be a president for all Americans and it was time for the nation "to come together as one united people".

"Its time for America to bind the wounds of division," he said in his victory speech. "I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans."

He also addressed the world community, saying that while America would always put its own interests first, it would deal fairly with other nations.

"We will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram congratulating Trump on his victory and saying he hoped Russia and the US would work together to end the crisis in relations, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Closer to home, the US ambassador to Ireland Kevin O'Malley said he did not expect Trump's victory to lead to any change in Irish-US relations.

"Our relationship is built on many things, not just the presidency," O'Malley said, pointing to shared DNA of the two countries with many Americans tracing their roots to Ireland and the "huge economic bridge" between the two countries.

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