9 Nov 2020

Pacific leaders tip hat to Biden

4:15 pm on 9 November 2020

Pacific leaders have joined a chorus of congratulatory messages to US-President Elect Joe Biden.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown, said as he watched the polls unfold, he admired Biden's patience and calming comments encouraging the votes of the people to be counted.

US President-elect Joe Biden makes his first speech after being declared the winner of the US presidential election.

Photo: AFP

Brown said once the election result was in Biden's favour, he watched with admiration the unifying addresses given, decribing them as inspirational to the American people and many admirers internationally.

The Northern Marianas Governor, Ralph Torres, a Republican and a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, said it was his administration's hope that they could work together with the incoming Biden-Harris administration for the betterment of the people of the US and the CNMI.

Torres also recognised the historic milestone of leadership for women in the US, with the election of Kamala Harris, adding that he joined the nation in creating an environment for diversity and inclusion throughout all parts of government from federal to local.

"We look forward to working with them and their Democratic administration, just as we did with President Obama and his administration to great success," he said.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris arrives to deliver remarks before introducing US President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020, after being declared the winners of the presidential election.

Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris Photo: AFP

Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan, an independent, said he was s looking forward to working in the US House of Representatives over the next two years to advance Biden and Harris' agenda of controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, reviving the economy, continuing the fight against poverty, moving forward on racial justice, advancing equality for all, and addressing the threat of climate change.

NMI Democratic Party Chair, Nola Hix, for her part, said they were confident that Biden-Harris was a presidency for all Americans and that they look forward to the excellent partnership with Sablan for the next four years and beyond.

Earlier American Samoa's Congresswoman, Aumua Amata Radewagen, a Republican, expressed the need for bipartisan work across the political spectrum.

On Sunday Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape also congratulated Biden, and made mention of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman and first Black and Asian-American person to serve in the role.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape addresses a business discussion in Port Moresby, January 2020.

PNG PM, James Marape Photo: PNG PM Media Unit

He also thanked President Trump for his support and acknowledgement of PNG during his term, especially sending his Vice-President Mike Pence to APEC 2018 in Port Moresby, and signing a $US2.3 billion agreement with Australia, New Zealand and Japan to improve access to electricity and the Internet there.

"The US Elections was an event that captivated the world World, including PNG, with our people glue to their TV screens and Internet to get latest updates," Marape said.

The prime minister said US-PNG relations were forged during the Second World War and continued to this day.

"I look forward to PNG strengthening relations with the USA under President-Elect Biden and Vice-President Elect Harris."

On Saturday Fiji's Prime Minister seemed to prematurely congratulate Joe Biden before any call was made on the result.

Frank Bainimarama congratulated Joe Biden via a Twitter post.

He also appealed to Biden and the US saying "together, we have a planet to save from a #ClimateEmergency and a global economy to build back better from #COVID19."

He also said the US was needed in the nations signed up to the Paris Agreement, something Trump had vowed to remove his country from, while Biden had indicated a willingness to return to the fold.