Republicans and Democrats in Hungary react to U.S. election


One week on from the surprise win of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the local leaders of Republicans Overseas and Democrats Abroad have given contrasting reactions, as you might expect.


“It is with great pleasure that Republicans Overseas Hungary observed the 2016 election results,” Alex Hemingway, chairman of Republicans Overseas Hungary told the Budapest Business Journal. “The Republican Party and its President-Elect Donald J. Trump not only won the 2016 election but won it decisively. In the final analysis, Donald Trump led the Republican Party to overwhelming victories across the United States, taking the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, the Presidency and an overwhelming majority of state houses. We are obviously thrilled at the outcome of the election for the GOP and America.” 

For Democrats Abroad, the picture could not be anything other than less rosy. “Democrats faced an unexpected loss with the outcome of last Tuesday’s Presidential election in the United States,” said Merrill Oates, regional vice chair, EMEA for Democrats Abroad, and also vice chair of the Hungarian country committee, which he helped set up in 2008. “While the Democratic candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton, lost the race in the Electoral College, which determines a presidential election, she did receive a majority of the popular vote. That margin is expected to be more than two million votes more than Mr. Trump, once all votes have finally been counted. Democrats also picked up two additional seats in the U.S. Senate and six seats in the House of Representatives, but did not achieve a majority in either house.” 

Hemingway said he is already looking toward improved ties between Hungary and the United States. “President-Elect Trump has indicated a willingness and a desire to work with Prime Minister Orbán and an affinity for Hungary. We have indicated to the incoming administration that we stand ready to assist in any way possible to ensure that the Hungarian-American relationship is a stronger one than it has been. We look forward to working with the incoming Trump administration to assist in any way we can,” he said. 

One area Oates was happy with was a non-partisan partnership with the Republican organization to help drive up the numbers of overseas voters. “In Hungary, Democrats Abroad worked with our Republican colleagues and the U.S. Embassy to host more than 20 public non-partisan voter registration events. Democrats Abroad will continue to build on our successful growth and voter outreach efforts this year to ensure that Americans citizens living abroad know that they can vote, and that they have a voice in U.S. elections,” Oates stated. 

There are an estimated 8.7 million overseas Americans eligible to vote in U.S. elections. 

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