Has a sovereign Communist government ever run, and conceded loss, on a fair election?

Has a sovereign Communist government ever run, and conceded loss, on a fair election?

Have there been cases where a sovereign Communist government ran in an open and fair multi-party election and conceded a loss?

The reason for the sovereign qualifier is simple. If, for example, the Indian state of Kerala has a Communist government, it stands to reason that, as part of India, it could not (assuming it even wanted to) cancel elections or manipulate them overmuch - the federal Indian government would not let it.

Also, the Communist government in my question need not have been elected into power, it just needs to have allowed free elections once it had power.

edit: The notion of agency, or free choice, in allowing elections is important too. Eastern Europe in 89-90 was imploding, people were fleeing through newly opened borders and Gorbachev refused military backing. People like Honecker deserve praise for not ordering their troops to shoot (with uncertain outcomes, cf Romania), but it's not so much that they believed in democracy, it's that they had run out of all other options.

edit #2: for the purposes of the question, a Communist party is one which calls itself Communist or whose party manifesto explicitly indicates its adherence to Marxist/Leninist principles.


Moldova

The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova came to power in the 2001 Moldovan parliamentary election but went into opposition after the July 2009 Moldovan parliamentary election despite being by far the largest single party.

Although the Soviet-era Communist Party of Moldova was banned in 1991, the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova was legally recognized in 1994. Its presidential candidate came third in the 1996 presidential elections.

In the March 1998 Parliamentary election, the party won 40 of the 101 seats and became the largest party in parliament. Despite this, it did not come to power as other parties allied to form the government.

In the February 2001 elections, Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova won almost 50% of the vote which gave it 71 seats, a clear parliamentary majority which enabled it to form a government. Although it lost 15 seats in the 2005 election, the communists remained the governing party.

Although the communists increased their vote and number of seats in the April 2009 election, it did not have enough seats in parliament to elect a new president. Consequently, parliamentary elections were held again in July 2009. The communists lost their majority, falling to 48 of the 101 seats, and went into opposition, with the other parties forming a coalition government.

Other source:

D. J. Sager, Political Parties of the World (2009)


Guyana

The People's Progressive Party in Guyana has held power several times and was last voted out of office in the 2015 general election after being in power for more than 20 years. It is currently the main opposition party in Guyana.

The party is described as Marxist-Leninist, Communist and left-wing nationalist. It is also listed on Solidnet.org, a communist and workers organization.


I believe the Velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia matches your criteria. It started with popular protests in November 1989. During December, the (Communist) president nominated a new government where the Communist party held 10 out of 21 seats. Then in June 1990, free elections were held and the Communist party was voted out of power, no longer being part of the government formed based on these elections.


If you consider it sovereign, East Germany did that.

Well, they had already lost almost all control anyways, but after the wall fell they simply ran for the first election with other parties, and - obviously - lost.

So you could say that they were knowingly giving up all their power in the form of an election, but it was an election nonetheless.


In the Republic of San Marino, an elected Communist-Socialist coalition government ruled from 1983 to 1988. They lost their majority when the Socialists scored badly in the 1988 elections, and the government was peacefully replaced by an improbable alliance including communists and christians-democrats.

After 1992's elections, communists left the government, once again without violence.


The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won elections in 2008, and subsequently lost power to the Nepali Congress in the 2013 elections.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) has led four governments in Nepal, the last one losing power to the Nepali Congress in 2016.

The two communist parties merged in 2018, forming the Nepal Communist Party, which is currently in power.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Nepal as a "hybrid regime", so elections may not be fully free and fair.


I think the election to the upper chamber of Polish parliament (Senat) in 1989 can be considered such case.

According to the agreements of the Round Table (Okrągły Stół) the lower chamber (Sejm) had an established number of seats (65%) pre-assigned for the governing communist party (PZPR) and their satellites and the remaining MPs were selected in an entirely free election. All those freely elected MPs but 1 were captured by opposing Solidarity (Solidarność) party. Moreover the leading party decided to take only below 40% of MPs giving the rest of the "contingent" to its satellite parties (my guess is they wanted to show a divergence to cool down the anti-communist movement).

Yet all 100 seats in the upper chamber were selected freely.

As a result 99 of senators came from the main opposing party Solidarity with the remaining one place taken by a politician who was independent (but supporting opposition as well). It was a massive loss, unexpected by either of the sides.

The communists decided to accept those results. Annulling them would most probably lead back to massive unrest, strikes, you name it.

Interestingly the opposition managed to convince the satellite parties of PZPR to switch sides. As a result in August 1989 PZPR lost the majority in Polish parliament lower chamber as well effectively closing the communists rule over the Poland. All the upcoming elections (presidential in 1990 and parliamentary in 1991) were completely free and won by the recent opposition (now divergent, with a number of parties).

See this Wikipedia article as a lead in.


Austria in 1945 had, like most of Eastern Europe, a provisional government which was approved by Stalin and had a large Communist contingent. Unlike other countries, however, the Austrian Communists did not freeze out and later ban all other parties; instead truly free elections were held, which resulted in the Communist Party ceasing to be a part of the governing coalition in 1947. This may have been because the party genuinely thought it would be more popular than the alternatives among voters who remembered Hitler, or it may have been because, Austria having been divided into four Occupation Zones, the Red Army was not the ultimate arbiter.

It's not clear how far this government could claim to be 'sovereign'; but if you are looking for a Communist government that neither seized power by military force nor used the army to retain power once gained (either of which mortgages sovereignty to the military commanders), you will have a long search


The Sandinista government of Nicaragua considered themselves revolutionary Marxists, allied with Cuba and the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and were called Communists by the Reagan administration, which funded an insurgency against them. Their domestic policies were left-wing, but not very similar to the Soviet Union's.

They lost an election in 1990, had a peaceful transition of power, and the party continued to run in and win elections afterwards.


The Sandinista National Liberation Front (SNLF) or Sandinistas in Nicaragua. They came to power when they overthrew Anastasio Somoza DeBayle in 1979 and then ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990. Then lost the Presidency in an election to Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in 1990. The SNLF's President Daniel Ortega returned to power in 2006 through the electoral process and has since won re-election in 2011 and 2016.


I think Cyprus qualifies here.

Demetris_Christofias was president of Cyprus from 2008 to 2013. He was the candidate of the communist / Marxist-Leninist Progressive Party of Working People and Cyprus is the only EU country which has had a communist head of state.

In Cyprus, the president is both head of state and heads the government. It is not a ceremonial position, the president (Greek) has real power. For example, in the constitution it says he appoints 7 out of the ten ministers. The vice-president (Turkish) appoints the other 3, but there is no Turkish VP in practice.

His party did not have a majority in parliament but it was the largest party at the time Christofias was elected president. Before becoming president of Cyprus he was president of the house of representative 2001-08 (the Cypriot parliament). He decided not run for reelection in 2013 and the president who was elected after him was not a communist.


Fulton County Georgia Election Official Admits Chain of Custody Documents Missing for Large Number of Absentee Ballots

This admission published today will likely help the lawsuit filed by Georgia plaintiff Garland Favorito who previously won a legal fight to audit 145,000 Atlanta area absentee ballots. The county has appealed the judge’s ruling granting access, and filed a motion to dismiss the case (squashing the audit). The judge will hear arguments later this month. Today they admit 24% of the absentee ballots (one in four) are missing chain of custody documents.

GEORGIA – In a stunning admission about the critical chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes in the November 3, 2020 election, a Fulton County election official told The Georgia Star News on Wednesday that “a few forms are missing” and that “some procedural paperwork may have been misplaced.”

A Star News analysis of drop box ballot transfer forms for absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes provided by Fulton County in response to an Open Records Request showed that 385 transfer forms out of an estimated 1,565 transfer forms Fulton County said should have been provided are missing – a number that is significantly greater than “a few” by any objective standard.

This is the first time that any election official at either the state or county level from a key battleground state has made an admission of significant error in election procedures for the November 3, 2020 election.

The admission of missing chain of custody documents by a Fulton County official is important for several reasons that cut to the very core of public confidence in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. (read more)

[…] “These absentee ballots are at the center of a lawsuit filed by Garland Favorito and eight other Georgia residents, who have sued Fulton County to produce these ballots for a forensic audit. Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero ruled in May that this audit could proceed, but allowed the plaintiffs to review only the digital images of these 145,000 absentee ballots. . . An estimated 145,000 absentee ballots – between 75,000 and 78,000 of which were originally deposited in drop boxes and between 67,000 and 70,000 of which were sent via the United States Postal Service – were transferred from the centralized counting facility at the State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta to the EPC [the Election Preparation Center warehouse located at 1365 English St. NW, Atlanta] at some point after the counting of votes for the November 3 election was completed. (read more)


Democrats question election results, voting machines

Discontent runs through a broad swath of voters from across the political spectrum.

Matt Luceen didn’t vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020, but he came to Washington last week to protest President Biden’s inauguration, saying the election was flawed.

Mr. Luceen, a supporter of Sen. Bernard Sanders, said he toted signs that read “COUNT OUR VOTES BY HAND,” and “End the charade.”

“We don’t ever really put the paper into piles and count them by hand anymore,” the 34-year-old computer programmer said. “We just trust the machines, and we shouldn’t because we have documented proof that these machines are vulnerable.”

While Mr. Trump and his supporters have been explosively vocal about their distrust of the election system, discontent runs through a broad swath of voters from across the political spectrum.

In 2016, it was Democrats complaining that the election had been tainted by Russian interference. Two years later, the party complained that Stacey Abrams had been denied the Georgia governorship because of shenanigans with voting rolls.

Ms. Abrams never conceded, and Democrats — who took control of the U.S. House in those 2018 elections — made her cause a rallying cry, vowing to repair elections.

In 2020, it was Mr. Trump sowing complaints early and often, arguing mail-in voting was fraud, suggesting that votes were being manufactured for his opponent, and suggesting some vote-counting systems were siphoning his votes away while building the totals for Mr. Biden.

But Democrats had their own complaints, too. Mr. Luceen feels the nomination was stolen from Mr. Sanders last year — and, he believes, in 2016, too.

“I don’t think Trump is being honest, but I do think his voters may have been disenfranchised, but there is no way to prove it because we are not counting the paper,” he said. “We trust whatever is coming out of the machines.”

In Congress, the Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 2nd District is challenging her loss, and has asked the House to overturn the result, unseat the Republican winner and install her instead.

In New York, meanwhile, the 22nd Congressional District still doesn’t have a winner, two-and-a-half months after Election Day. The Republican holds a lead, but a state judge has ordered more study of ballots that were counted and rejected.

Polling suggests many in both parties are skeptical of how votes are tallied, though the depths of distrust often turn on whether their candidates emerged victorious.

Heading into the 2016 vote, 84% of Democrats had confidence in the system. After Mr. Trump won the presidential race t that year, Democrats who trusted the results fell to 65%, according to Morning Consult.

By contrast, just 56% of Republicans had confidence heading into Election Day. But that number jumped to 73% after Mr. Trump’s win.

Two weeks after the 2020 vote, only 44% of Americans told Monmouth University Polling Institute they were “very confident” the election was fair and accurate. Among Republicans, that was just 22%.

“There is mistrust in elections but Democrats and Republicans have different worries,” said Darrell West, vice president of governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

“Democrats think voter suppression is the real problem while Republicans fear that mail ballots encourage fraud,” Mr. West said. “Since there is more evidence that voter suppression is a problem, Democrats will beef up voting rights enforcement and encourage states to keep early voting and mail ballot options.”

“The one thing both parties agree on is election security and keeping foreign agents from disrupting electoral infrastructure,” he said.

Beyond that common concern, however, a chasm has opened up between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to voting.

Democrats say there are too many restrictions. They want easier registration, longer voting periods and extensions of the right to vote to felons and, in some cases, those under age 18.

For Republicans, voter integrity is the priority. They point to accounts of noncitizens casting ballots, and to counties and districts where there are more voters registered than the census estimates could be possible.

Republicans say the answers lie in cleaner voting rolls and stricter ID checks. Democrats say those tactics amount to voter suppression and are designed to discourage minorities and poor people from voting.

After the 2018 Georgia election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put election reforms at the top of her list of legislative priorities.

The effort didn’t go anywhere under split control of Congress, but now that Democrats control both chambers, she’s more optimistic.

“It is a priority for us,” she told reporters last week. “This is really central to the integrity of our government.”

The Democratic-controlled Senate announced Mrs. Pelosi’s bill is a top priority.

Though out of Washington for now, Mr. Trump also plans to focus on elections. He’ll push to tighten the rules and undo many of the coronavirus laws that eased rules on submitting ballots and getting witnesses during the pandemic.

“You’re going to see him emerge as the nation’s leader on ballot voting integrity,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller on “Just the News” on Thursday.

He said Congress won’t address meaningful changes while Democrats are in charge, so Mr. Trump will focus on states with Republican legislatures.

“We’re going to start ramping up here, not immediately … we’ll give them a little bit of a transition period. But this is critical,” Mr. Miller said.

It remains to be seen what Mr. Biden plans to do.

A spokesperson did not respond to an email seeking comment.

At the heart of the debate over elections is a philosophical divide. One side is arguing for the sanctity of Election Day, where exceptions like mail-in balloting are rare. The other side says wants a more expansive voting season, with ballots available through the mail and able to be counted days after the actual Election Day.

The pandemic tipped the scales toward that latter view.

Logan Churchwell of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, which pushes for voter integrity measures, said Mr. Biden could restore trust in the voting system by rolling back the pandemic changes.

“The American experiment has worked this long because we traditionally saw where the chips fell on election night. The further we stray from Election Day and make the act of voting a private affair away from our fellow citizens, distrust will spiral,” Mr. Churchwell said.


Back to Health: Making Up for Lost Time

The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare systemic inequities that will have to be addressed if we are ever going to build more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive societies. Join us on June 23, 2021, for our latest live virtual event, Back to Health: Making Up for Lost Time, where leading experts will examine the immediate legacy of the pandemic and explore solutions for bringing all communities and societies back to health.

So, with the Communist Party of China (CPC) in shameful company, it denounced the Norwegian Nobel Committee, censored news of the award, and banned large-scale commercial trade between Norway and China. (Of course, even though China put Norway in its diplomatic doghouse, many Norwegian products still reached the country: salmon sales to neighboring Vietnam spiked, and – lo and behold – exports of Norwegian salmon from Vietnam to China increased by the same amount.

The CPC takes particular exception to any foreign leader or official representative who meets the Dalai Lama. When the United Kingdom’s then-prime minister, David Cameron, met him in 2012, China froze relations with Britain until Cameron demeaned himself and his country by apologizing for his grave error.

Worst of all is any question of friendship with Taiwan, which the People’s Republic of China has never ruled, although the CPC continues to claim that the island is part “one China.” In fact, after one of the Chinese Emperor Kangxi’s armies invaded the island in the seventeenth century, he tried to sell it to the Dutch, because he did not consider it part of the Qing empire. Perhaps the UK should renew its claim to sovereignty over the United States because George III once ruled there.

China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan should be challenged on the basis of history and the welfare of the democratic island’s 24 million citizens, less than 3% of whom describe themselves as Chinese. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority regard themselves as either Taiwanese or Chinese Taiwanese. But this does not stop China from issuing increasingly antagonistic military threats against them.

Now consider the case of Australia. Assured by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the end of January 2020 that the illness detected in Wuhan was “preventable, controllable, and curable,” the Australian authorities later discovered that China was stealthily buying medical supplies hand over fist from Australia and the UK. The Australian government then issued a perfectly reasonable call for a full and open inquiry into the causes of the coronavirus pandemic, which triggered a series of coercive Chinese economic and trade attacks against Australia.

Unsurprisingly, New Zealand, normally a country with strong human-rights and democratic credentials, has reacted cautiously to China’s policies of brutal repression in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. About 30% of the country’s exports go to China, and a loss of market access would be a heavy blow. Tellingly, New Zealand’s foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta, recently suggested that exporters should try to diversify their markets.

Faced with all this, free and open societies should work together to make clear to China that a good relationship requires respecting and defending the rules-based international order. Moreover, sovereign states should demand reciprocity in dealing with China, in trade as well as politics. If the Chinese government uses trade as a weapon when it does not like a country’s political stance, liberal democracies should pursue this breach of international rules through the World Trade Organization’s arbitration mechanism, as well as bilaterally if necessary. And they should argue for Taiwan’s membership, at least as an observer, in international bodies like the World Health Organization.

A good relationship between free societies and China is not something that the CPC bestows. It is something that China must earn by respecting the rules and norms of international behavior and recognizing other countries’ sovereignty instead of just asserting its own.


3. Biden’s ‘Freudian Slip’

Giuliani noted that the danger of mail-in voting has been cited by such liberal sources as former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat former Supreme Court Justice David Souter and The New York Times.

“This is the first time we did it en masse, and I think we’ve proven that all three are prophets,” Giuliani said of voting by mail. “It’s not only susceptible to fraud, it is easily susceptible to fraud, particularly if you had a plan or scheme that sounds eerily similar to what Joe Biden told us a few days before the election, that he had the best voter fraud team in the world.”

In late October, Biden said: “We have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

Biden defenders contend that the Democratic presidential nominee was talking about a voter protection program in his campaign, and that he misspoke.

Giuliani joked that it was a “Freudian slip,” and speculated that Biden was likely part of the fraud. He later backed away, saying he wasn’t sure what Biden is or isn’t aware of.

The former mayor suggested Biden’s assertion about the “most extensive” such operation in American history could have been an overstatement.

“Well, they were good,” Giuliani said. “I don’t know that they were that good, because they made significant mistakes like all crooks do, and we caught them.”


Congratulations to Democrats Edit

  • African Union – Chairperson of the African Union CommissionMoussa Faki (2017–present) [2] – The Alliance of Democracies congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "Congratulations to President elect @JoeBiden. We've been proud to work with the President-elect as a founder member of our Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity. We look forward to working with the Biden/Harris Administration to #DefendDemocracy around the world." [3]
  • Caribbean Community – Chairman Ralph Gonsalves (2020–present) [4]
  • Central Tibetan Administration
      Lobsang Sangay (2012–present) [5]
  • former Head of the Central Tibetan Administration Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (1959–2012) [6]
    • Ursula von der Leyen (2019–present) [7]Charles Michel (2019–present) [7]Josep Borrell (2019–present) Borrell called Biden's victory a "Great day for [the] US and Europe" and shared his hopes "to rebuild" the US–EU partnership. [8]
      , President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, congratulated Biden on his victory in a statement released on November 8. [15]
    • Representatives from the World Health Organization congratulated Biden on his victory and stated that they "looked forward to the United States canceling plans to leave the body." [16]

    Condemnation and restraint Edit

      – The Global Greens did not congratulate Biden or Trump instead choosing to send solidarity to the Green Party of the United States, writing "Now, more than ever, it's critical to have third party voices like the Greens in the United States." [17]
    • Yemen Solidarity Council – The Yemen Solidarity Council released a statement condemning President-elect Biden and the United States, stating: "Until we see clear action from President-elect @JoeBiden and his administration, and until he decides to end US involvement in #Yemen . we maintain the view that America constitutes the greatest threat towards Yemeni self-determination, self-sufficiency and independence." [18]

    Congratulations to Democrats Edit

      – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congratulated Biden, writing: "We congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States. We also congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We invite people everywhere, whatever their political views, to join us in praying for this new administration and for leaders of nations around the world. Praying for those in public office has been a practice of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its founding. The men and women who lead our nations and communities need our prayers." [19]Bartholomew I to Biden: "You Offer Hope, Conviction for a Better Future". [20] – President Ronald Lauder (2007–present) [21]

    Congratulations to Democrats Edit

    Africa Edit

    • Angola – PresidentJoão Lourenço (2017–present) [22]
    • Botswana – PresidentMokgweetsi Masisi (2020–present) [23]
    • Burkina Faso – PresidentRoch Marc Christian Kaboré (2015–present) [24]
    • Burundi – PresidentEvariste Ndayishimiye (2020–present) [25]
    • Cameroon – PresidentPaul Biya (1982–present) [26]
    • Cape Verde
        Jorge Carlos Fonseca (2011–present) [27]Ulisses Correia e Silva (2016–present) [27]
      • Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (2019–present) [65]Abdalla Hamdok (2019–present) [66]

      Asia Edit

      • Afghanistan – PresidentAshraf Ghani (2014–present) [73]
      • Bahrain
          Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (2002–present) [74]Salman bin Hamad[75]Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (1971–2020) [76]
        • Abdul Hamid (2013–present) [77]Sheikh Hasina (2009–present) [78]
          Ram Nath Kovind (2017–present) [81]Narendra Modi (2014–present) [82]
          Barham Salih (2018–present) [33]
        • Kurdistan Region – President Nechirvan Barzani (2019–present) [84]
          Reuven Rivlin (2014–present) [85]Benjamin Netanyahu (2009–present) [86]Benny Gantz (2020–present) [87]
          Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (2020–present) [88]
        • Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (2020–present) [88]Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah (2019–present) [88]
          Bidya Devi Bhandari (2015–present) [92]Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli (2018–present) [93]
          Arif Alvi (2018–present) [95]Imran Khan (2018–present) [96]
          Rodrigo Duterte (2016–present) [98]Leni Robredo (2016–present) [99]
          Salman (2015–present) [101]Mohamed ben Salman (2017–present) [101]
          Halimah Yacob (2017–present) [102]Lee Hsien Loong (2004–present) [103]
          Gotabaya Rajapaksa (2019–present) [105]Mahinda Rajapaksa (2019–present) [106]
          Tsai Ing-wen (2016–present) [107][108]Su Tseng-chang (2019–present) [109]
        • Abu Dhabi – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2003–present) [33]
        • PresidentAbdrabbuh Mansur Hadi (2012–present) [66]
        • Vice President of the Southern Transitional CouncilHani bin Breik (2017–present) [66]

        Central America Edit

        • Costa Rica
            Carlos Alvarado Quesada (2018–present) [1]Epsy Campbell Barr (2018–present) [111]
        • A congratulations motion was approved by members of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica with the exception of seven conservative lawmakers from the PNR (4), PUSC (2), and PNG (1) parties. [112]
          • Daniel Ortega (2007–present) [118] and First Lady Rosario Murillo (2017–present) [119]

          Europe Edit

          • Albania
              Ilir Meta (2017–present) [120]Edi Rama (2013–present) [121]
            • Armen Sarkissian (2018–present) [122]Nikol Pashinyan (2018–present) [123]
              Emmanuel Macron (2017–present) Macron congratulated Biden and Harris, tweeting "we have a lot to do to overcome today's challenges." [124]Xavier Espot Zamora (2019–present) [125]
              Alexander Van der Bellen (2017–present) [126]Sebastian Kurz (2020–present, 2017–2019) [127]
              Rumen Radev (2017–present) [129]Boyko Borisov (2017–present) [130]
              Zoran Milanović (2020–present) [131]Andrej Plenković (2016–present) [132]
              Miloš Zeman (2013–present) [134]Andrej Babiš (2017–present) [134]
              Mette Frederiksen (2019–present) [135]
            • Faroe Islands – Prime MinisterBárður á Steig Nielsen (2019–present) [136]
              Kersti Kaljulaid (2016–present) [1]Jüri Ratas (2016–present) [137]
              Sauli Niinistö (2012–present) [1]Sanna Marin (2019–present) Marin congratulated Biden and Harris, tweeting in Finnish and English "My congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The USA is an important partner to Finland. Looking forward to cooperating on transatlantic relations." [138]
              Salome Zourabichvili (2018–present) [139]Giorgi Gakharia (2019–present) [140]
              Frank-Walter Steinmeier (2017–present) [141]Angela Merkel (2005–present) Merkel stated on Twitter that "the American people have made their decision" and that she was looking forward to collaborating with Biden. [124]
              Katerina Sakellaropoulou (2020–present) [142]Kyriakos Mitsotakis (2019–present) [124]
              János Áder (2012–present) [143]Viktor Orbán (2010–present) [144]
              Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (2016–present) [145]Katrín Jakobsdóttir (2017–present) [1]
              Michael D. Higgins (2011–present) [124]Micheál Martin (2020–present) [11]
              Sergio Mattarella (2015–present) Mattarella sent an official message to Biden expressing his congratulations and stating that under his presidency, "the United States and Italy – and the entire European Union – will be able to further strengthen the bonds of deep and deep-rooted friendship". [146]Giuseppe Conte (2018–2021) Conte congratulated "the American people and institutions" on Twitter [7] and subsequently Joe Biden and Kamala Harris during a phone call to the ANSA news agency. [147]
              Vjosa Osmani (2020–present) [149]Avdullah Hoti (2020–present) [150]
              Egils Levits (2019–present) [151]Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš (2019–present) [151]
              Gitanas Nausėda (2019–present) [152]Saulius Skvernelis (2016–present) [153]
              George Vella (2019–present) [124]Robert Abela (2020–present) [11]
              Milo Đukanović (2018–present, 1998–2002) [154]Zdravko Krivokapić (2020–present) [155]Duško Marković (2016–2020) [156]
              Stevo Pendarovski (2019–present) [158]Zoran Zaev (2020–present, 2017–2020) [159]
              Andrzej Duda (2015–present) [162][163]Zbigniew Rau (2020–present) [164]
              Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (2016–present) [165]Antonio Costa (2015–present) [166]
              Klaus Iohannis (2014–present) Iohannis congratulated Biden and stated on Twitter that he looks forward "to further consolidating our solid and dynamic #StrategicPartnership in all its dimensions. Romania will continue to work to strengthen the security, prosperity and resilience of our transatlantic community" [167]Ludovic Orban (2019–2020) [168]
              Zuzana Čaputová (2019–present) [170]Igor Matovič (2020–present) [170]
              Boris Johnson (2019–present) Johnson stated that "the U.S. is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security." [124]
            • Bermuda – PremierEdward David Burt (2017–present) [175]
            • British Virgin Islands – PremierAndrew Fahie (2019–present) [176]
            • Gibraltar – Chief MinisterFabian Picardo (2011–present) [177]
            • Guernsey – Chief Minister Peter Ferbrache (2020–present) [178]
            • Jersey – Chief MinisterJohn Le Fondré (2018–present) [178] – First MinisterArlene Foster (2020–present, 2016–2017) Foster and deputy First MinisterMichelle O'Neill wrote a joint letter to Biden and Harris congratulating them on their election victory and expressing their hope that Northern Ireland's links with the US will be further strengthened under his presidency. [179]
            • Scotland – First MinisterNicola Sturgeon (2014–present) Sturgeon tweeted her congratulations to Biden and Harris on their election victory and referred to Harris's election as the first woman of colour as vice president as "a big and special moment". [11][180]
            • Wales – First MinisterMark Drakeford (2018–present) Drakeford tweeted his support to Biden and Harris, and said he looks "forward to working with you to build on the strong links between Wales and USA". [181]

            North America Edit

            • Antigua and Barbuda – Prime MinisterGaston Browne (2014–present) [183]
            • The Bahamas – Prime MinisterHubert Minnis (2017–present) [184]
            • Barbados – Prime MinisterMia Mottley (2018–present) [185]
            • Canada
                Julie Payette (2017–2021) [186]Justin Trudeau (2015–present) [124]
              • Aruba – Prime MinisterEvelyn Wever-Croes (2017–present) [191]
              • Curaçao – Prime MinisterEugene Rhuggenaath (2017–present) [175]
              • Sint Maarten – Prime MinisterSilveria Jacobs (2019–present) [192]

              Oceania Edit

              • Australia
                  Scott Morrison (2018–present) Morrison congratulated Biden, Harris and their spouses whilst thanking "President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary Mike Pompeo . and the many other members of his cabinet with whom we have had a very good relationship over the years of the Trump administration and of course that will continue through the transition period." [194] Morrison also invited Biden to visit Australia for the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty. [195]
              • Premier of VictoriaDaniel Andrews (2014–present) [11]
              • Premier of QueenslandAnnastacia Palaszczuk (2015–present) [196]
              • South America Edit

                • Argentina – PresidentAlberto Fernández (2019–present) [11]
                • Brazil
                    Jair Bolsonaro (2019–present) [202][203]Rodrigo Maia (2016–2021) [204]
                • Former PresidentLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003–2011) [205]
                • São Paulo – GovernorJoão Doria (2019–present) [206]
                • Various other Governors, Senators, and former Presidents [207]
                  • PresidentNicolás Maduro (2013–present) [214]
                  • PresidentJuan Guaidó (2019–present) [214]

                  Congratulations with/or condemnation Edit

                  Asia Edit

                    Iran
                      Ali Khamenei (1989–present) Khamenei did not congratulate Biden or Trump instead choosing to condemn Western democracy stating: "The situation in the US and what they themselves say about their elections is a spectacle! This is an example of the ugly face of liberal democracy in the US. Regardless of the outcome, one thing is absolutely clear, the definite political, civil, and moral decline of the US regime." [215]Hassan Rouhani (2013–present) Rouhani did not congratulate Biden but said the Biden victory is an opportunity for the next US government to make up for past mistakes and return to the path of adhering to international commitments with respect to global rules. [216]Javad Zarif (2013–present) Zarif acknowledged the result of the election and hoped that the new administration would "accept multilateralism, cooperation and respect for law". [216]

                    Europe Edit

                    • Belarus – The Government of Belarus declared the US presidential election to be a mockery of democracy and questioned if the OSCE would call for another vote in the United States as they did in Belarus in response to the disputed elections in Belarus. [217]PresidentAlexander Lukashenko stated that he believes that the relationship between Belarus and the United States would not change due to any outcome of the election. [218] The disputed President-electSviatlana Tsikhanouskaya congratulated Biden, writing: "It's my honor to congratulate @JoeBiden, President-Elect of the United States of America, and @KamalaHarris, Vice President-Elect, on their historic achievement. Belarusian people and I personally thank you for your solidarity and we look forward to our future cooperation!" [219] It was later reported that Tsikhanouskaya is seeking Biden's backing against the suppression of the anti-Lukashenko opposition. [220]
                    • Estonia – PresidentKersti Kaljulaid and Prime MinisterJüri Ratas congratulated Biden on his victory, [221][222] though then-Minister of the InteriorMart Helme stated that Biden's victory was fraudulent and claimed the election results had been falsified. Helme warned Estonians that America could plunge into a second civil war. [16] Helme resigned as Minister of the Interior shortly after his anti-Biden statements. Prime Minister Ratas recognized Helme's decision to resign, stating: "The United States is our biggest ally and strategic partner and all members of the Estonian government must contribute to maintaining and strengthening the allied relations between Estonia and the US. In the current situation, the resignation of Mart Helme is the only possible option for the government to continue its work and pursuing its foreign policy goals." [223]
                    • Slovenia
                        Janez Janša (2020–present) congratulated Trump on November 4, asserting that "it's pretty clear that American people have elected ⁦Donald Trump and Mike Pence for four more years", and remained the only world leader to have done so when news organizations called the election for Biden on November 7. [224][33] Later he condemned the elections, accusing the Democrats of mass voter fraud. [225]Borut Pahor congratulated Biden on November 7 for his win, directly contradicting the previous Slovenian government stance on the election, writing (in Slovene): "Dear President-elect @JoeBiden, allow me to congratulate you personally and in the name of the Republic of Slovenia on your election as the 46th president of the USA. On this occasion, I would like to express my happiness with the excellent relations between Slovenia and the USA, which are based on numerous ties between our two peoples and countries. I remember our previous meetings with fondness, especially the official meeting in the White House in 2011 and your presence on the leader summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process incentive in 2015, of which I am co-leader. All of the above fills me with optimism about our joint future, in which Slovenia and the USA will remain firm friends and allies. Dear Mr. President-elect, please accept this expression of my deep respect and my best wishes." [171]
                    • Congratulations with/or restraint Edit

                      Africa Edit

                      • Algeria – PresidentAbdelmadjid Tebboune congratulated Biden on December 15, after the electoral college officially certified Biden's victory. [226]

                      Asia Edit

                      • Cambodia – Prime MinisterHun Sen (1984–present) [227] congratulated Biden after the official certifiation.
                      • China – On November 9, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that the Chinese government would not yet congratulate Biden as his win awaited a legal endorsement. [228] According to Wang, "We [China] have acknowledged that Mr Biden has declared [himself] the winner of the election. We understand that the result will be declared under American domestic law and will deal [with the issue] in accordance with international routine." [229][230] On November 13, China congratulated Biden for his victory, nearly a week after major news sources had announced he had won the presidential election. [231] Speaking at a regular press briefing Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang said that China "respected the choice of the American people" and "we [China] congratulate Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris. At the same time, we understand that the outcome of this US election will be ascertained in accordance with US laws and procedures". [232][229][233][234] On November 25, Chinese leaderXi Jinping congratulated Biden after his government's initial restraint. [235]
                      • Vietnam – On December 1, PresidentNguyễn Phú Trọng[236] and Prime MinisterNguyễn Xuân Phúc[236] congratulated Biden after a three-week delay.

                      Europe Edit

                      • Moldova – PresidentIgor Dodon congratulated Biden on December 15, after the electoral college officially certified Biden's victory. [237]
                      • Russia – The Russian government initially did not congratulate Biden or Trump, citing that the official results have yet to be finalized. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov stated "We consider it correct to wait for the official results to be finalized. I want to remind you that President Putin repeatedly said he will respect the choice of the American people." [229] Putin finally congratulated Biden after the electoral college officially certified Biden's victory on December 14, wishing him "every success". [238]
                      • Turkey – After initial restraint, PresidentRecep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Biden. [239] It was speculated that restraint came as the result of a video that had previously surfaced in August featuring Joe Biden saying that he would support opposition leaders in their bid to remove president Erdoğan from office this was met with condemnation by both government and opposition officials as "intervention into Turkish internal affairs". [240][241] However, opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted "I would like to congratulate Joe Biden for his election as the 46th President of the United States of America and Kamala Harris as Vice-President. I look forward to strengthening Turkish–American relations and our strategic alliance." [242] Erdoğan's Vice PresidentFuat Oktay would later state that Turkish–American relations would not change under a Biden presidency, and called on the President-elect to extradite Fethullah Gülen and end American support for Kurdish militants in Syria. [66]

                      Latin America Edit

                      • Bolivia – Interim PresidentJeanine Áñez chose to not congratulate Biden, [243] however the then President-electLuis Arce from the then-opposition MAS-IPSP party, that controlled a majority in the House, congratulated Biden on his victory. [244]
                      • Brazil – Vice PresidentHamilton Mourão (2018–present) Mourão referred to Joe Biden as "President Biden" in an interview on November 9. [245] However, Mourão told reporters that PresidentJair Bolsonaro would be waiting for the ending of the imbroglio about if there are fake votes or not to make a statement about the election result. [246] To CNN Brasil, Bolsonaro told that "what he [Mourão] said about the United States is his opinion. I've never talked to Mourão about United States affairs, as well as I haven't been talking to him about any other subject". [247] On November 10, in his first reference to Biden after the election, Bolsonaro said "We have just seen a great candidate for the Head of State say that if I don't put out the fire in the Amazon, it will raise trade barriers against Brazil. How can we deal with all of this? Just diplomacy isn't enough, right, Ernesto [Ernesto Araújo, Minister of Foreign Affairs]? Because when the saliva ends, there must be gunpowder, if not, it doesn't work. You don't even have to use gunpowder, but they need to know you have it." [248] On November 29, Bolsonaro told reporters "The press does not report, but I have my sources of information there is no use talking to you you will not report. But there was really a lot of fraud there no one disputes that. I don't know if it was enough to determine one [winner] or another. I am waiting a little longer, for it to be decided by their electoral justice and perhaps by the Supreme Court in the end." [249] Bolsonaro congratulated Biden on December 15, after the electoral college officially certified Biden's victory. [250][251][252]
                      • Mexico – PresidentAndrés Manuel López Obrador (2018–present) said on November 7 in response to a reporter's question that "we are going to wait until all the legal issues are resolved," adding that Trump has been "very respectful of us". [33] and that Mexico had good relations with both Biden and Trump. [253] On December 14, President López Obrador congratulated Joe Biden as president-elect after the electoral college officially certified Biden's victory. [254]

                      Congratulations to Democrats Edit

                      Africa Edit

                        Tanzania
                          , Leader of the Alliance for Change and Transparency party, congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "I congratulate @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris for this symbolic win. This victory symbolizes the hope for democracy's at a time when many other parts of the world are seeing that light diminishing. It gives hope that integrity, honesty and perseverance still matter #Democracy." [255]

                        Asia Edit

                        • Bangladesh
                          • The Bangladesh Nationalist Party congratulated Biden for his victory, releasing a statement that read "The people of Bangladesh together with the people of the friendly United States are happy with his [Biden's] historic victory." [256] The party's General SecretaryMirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir would later state: "On behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP and myself, I extended the best wishes and congratulations to Joe Biden." [256]
                            , President of the Indian National Congress, sent congratulatory letters to US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their victory in the US elections. Gandhi said, looks forward to a close partnership with the US under the leadership of Biden and Harris. [257]
                          • , Leader of the Israeli Labor Party, congratulated Biden after his victory, writing: "I congratulate the election of President Joe Biden and wish him success." [258] , Chairman of the Yesh Atid party, congratulated Biden, tweeting: "Congratulations to my friend President-Elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris. The relationship between our countries is based on deeply held values and critical shared interests which I know will be at the heart of your administration." [259] , Head of the New Hope party, congratulated Biden on his victory. [260]
                            , President of the Komeito party, offered congratulations to Joe Biden following Biden's victory. [261]
                            , a senior official of Fatah, congratulated Biden on his victory and stated that "Nothing was worse than Trump's era, his departure is a gain." [262]
                            Sajith Premadasa congratulated Biden on his victory saying "As you stood with the American people to uphold the values of democracy and justice, your platform provided the world with an example of progressive democracy, pluralist patriotism and social equity, the very ideals and values that our party the Samagi Jana Balavegaya shares." [263]
                            , Leader of the Movement for Justice and Development in Syria party and President of the Syrian Interim Government, congratulated Biden on his victory. [264]
                            , Chairman of the Kuomintang, congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "I would like to extend my cordial congratulations to President-elect @JoeBiden and VP-elect @KamalaHarris. The @Kuomintang and I also see the 'United States of America' and 'possibility' as Joe says. We look fwd to enhancing the ROC (Taiwan)-US relations with your administration." [265]

                          Europe Edit

                          • European Union
                            • The Greens–European Free Alliance congratulated Biden on his victory, tweeting: "Congrats to #JoeBiden and #KamalaHarris on their election! [. ] We hope for more cooperation at #COP26 to turn this map bluer!" [266] congratulated Biden on his victory, releasing a statement that read "[we] sincerely congratulate Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrat Party for this well-deserved victory [. ] we are looking forward to working together for a new dawn in transatlantic relations." [267]
                              congratulated Biden on his victory, later tweeting (in French): "Joe Biden is elected 46th president of the United States and Kamala Harris the first female vice-president. This return of the progressives to power in the United States is a hope for all." [268]
                          • The Socialist Party congratulated Biden on his victory, writing (in French): "The #PS salutes the indisputable victory of the democrat @JoeBiden and welcomes the accession to the vice-presidency of @KamalaHarris, the first woman to take up this post." [269] Socialist Mayor of ParisAnne Hidalgo sent a congratulatory tweet about Biden's victory, stating "Welcome back, America!" [270]
                            • , Leader of the Labour Party, congratulated Biden for his victory, later writing: "An historic election in so many ways for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Much needs to be done to make sure the politics of division that we have seen over the last 4 years is a thing of the past." [271]
                            • The Humanist Association congratulated Biden on his victory and called on the President-elect to rejoin the Paris Accord. [272] , President of Sinn Féin, congratulated Biden on his victory in a video on November 7. [273]
                              ' leader Inés Arrimadas congratulated Biden for his victory, tweeting (in Spanish): "My congratulations to Joe Biden on his victory in this election. I hope that his mandate will help to unite Americans and open a new stage of reinforcement in collaboration between the US, the EU and all free societies." [274] leader Pablo Casado congratulated Biden for his victory, tweeting (both in Spanish and English): "Congratulations to @JoeBiden for his electoral victory and my best wishes to the people of the United States. Spain shall strengthen the transatlantic link within the European Union and step up our historical relationship with America". [275] congratulated Biden on his victory, while tweeting (in Spanish): "The results are final for the Democrats. Democracy wins, the extreme right loses. Dialogue wins, hate speech loses. The extreme right is defeated at the polls. Good news for the US and for the world." [276]Spanish Minister of DefenceMargarita Robles, who is close to the Socialist Workers' Party, also said that "After 4 years of polarization, the democratic system in the US has reacted. Multilateralism and transatlantic relations win with Biden". [277]
                              , Leader of the Labour Party, congratulated Biden, stating that his victory was "one for hope and unity over dishonesty and division." [278]

                            North America Edit

                            • Canada
                                , Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Canada and the U.S. have a historic alliance. Canada's Conservatives will always work with the U.S. to advance our common values and close economic ties." [279] , Leader of the New Democratic Party, congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "Congratulations, President-elect @JoeBiden. As the Trump Presidency comes to an end I'm reminded of Jack's final words Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." [280] , Leader of the Bloc Québecois, congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "Allow me, on behalf of my party, to offer our most enthusiastic congratulations following the results of your election as President of the United States." [281]
                              • Deputies of both Citizens' Action Party (government) and National Liberation Party (parliamentary ally) congratulated Biden on social media. [282]

                              Oceania Edit

                                Australia
                                  , Leader of the Australian Greens, congratulated Biden and Harris on "beating back fascism at the ballot box". [283] , Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition, congratulated Biden and Harris "on a victory delivered with record support with a progressive agenda based on decency, honest government, creating opportunity and dealing with the pandemic and the challenge of climate change". [284] Albanese also called allegations of election fraud by Trump "conspiracy theories". [284]
                                  , Leader of the New Zealand National Party, congratulated Biden on his victory, writing: "Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory in the United States. New Zealand has an enduring relationship with the US which I want to see get even stronger. Let's get a free trade agreement done!" [285]

                                South America Edit

                                • Chile
                                  • The Communist Party of Chile congratulated Biden with a tweet that wished the President-elect (in Spanish) a "Happy Saturday" and denounced both Trump and the President of ChileSebastián Piñera. [286]

                                  Celebration of Republican defeat, criticism, and restraint Edit

                                  Africa Edit

                                  • South Africa
                                    • The Economic Freedom Fighters did not congratulate Biden, instead writing that "Mr. Biden shall earn his stripe to deserve congratulations as a president of the USA the day he leaves office without atrocious acts against the people and their government." [287]

                                    Asia Edit

                                    • Afghanistan
                                      • The Taliban, who previously endorsed Trump, [288] did not accept Biden's victory. A spokesperson of the group told a reporter from BBC Pashto that "our reaction" would come "when the official result is announced." [289] The Taliban later referred to Biden as the "President-elect of the United States" and expected him to promote peace in Afghanistan. [290]
                                        , Chairman of Hamas, did not congratulate Biden on his victory but celebrated Trump's defeat, stating: "US President Donald Trump, who sought to obliterate Palestine's cause, has gone and Jerusalem will not go [from Palestine]." [262]
                                      • The Communist Party of the Philippines issued a statement celebrating Trump's defeat, stating "The American people deserve praises for voting against US President Donald Trump in the recently concluded presidential elections and preventing another four years of Trumpian fascism, militarism, racism, misogyny and bigotry." [291] This statement was met with criticism from other Maoist groups internationally. [292]

                                      Europe Edit

                                      • France
                                        • The French Communist Party did not congratulate Biden on his victory but sent a celebratory tweet about Trump's defeat, writing "#ByeByeTrump." [293] , Leader of the National Rally, did not congratulate Biden or Trump, instead saying: "I'm among those who will not congratulate the future president of the United States, because I don't consider the game to be over until we've gone into overtime [. ] I am rather astonished to see the media . rush to announce a result when we know that there are appeals currently being studied by the justice system." [294]
                                          , ConservativeMP and Defense Secretary, praised Trump's tenure as U.S. president and said that he would miss "[the] good friend to the UK." [295]
                                      • The Communist Party of Britain celebrated Trump's defeat in a tweet that read: "COMMUNISTS WELCOME DEFEAT FOR 'FAR RIGHT' AND 'PROTO-FASCISTS' – the Communist Party of Britain has welcomed the defeat of Donald Trump in the US presidential election." [296] The party, however, did not congratulate Biden on his victory, writing that "When it comes to foreign and military policy, president-elect Biden is every bit as committed to the pro-NATO, anti-China and anti-liberation agenda in Latin America and the Middle East as Trump." [297] , Leader of the Brexit Party, did not congratulate Biden or Trump, instead writing: "Biden hates the UK. The Conservatives had 4 years to do a trade deal with the USA and pro-UK President, and they failed. There is no chance now." [298]
                                      • After learning the result of the presidential elections in the United States, we celebrate Trump's defeat, but Biden's victory is not a cause for joy. Although the aggressive and crude Trump becomes a bad memory of history, and this is celebrated in the streets of the country, it cannot be forgotten that the two presidential candidates are part of the privileged who express themselves in both variants: Democrat and republican, who belong to the same 'party of power' that governs for the plutocracy, even though there are slight differences in domestic politics and international action. [. ] The Obama and Biden administrations gestured toward Cuba, but did not close the sinister Guantanamo prison signed the 5+1 agreement with Iran, but continued the military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, started the war against Syria and the aggression against Libya that destroyed the country, and financed and supported the Maidan coup in Ukraine that led to the extreme right to power. He supported the military coup in Thailand and compromised with the sinister General Al-Sisi who carried out the military coup in Egypt. He also maintained the NSA's worldwide spy program, created by Bush in 2008 and denounced by Snowden. And in its relationship with Russia and China, the government of Democrats Obama and Biden followed the purposes of the Pentagon, reinforcing NATO forces on the Russian borders and formulating its 'turn to Asia' that involved the transfer of a good part of their military troops to the seas near China for their containment and harassment plan."


                                        Election Officials Are Partisan Political Hacks

                                        No objective observer would contend that the election officials are anything but partisan political hacks. They have no interest in a fair and honest election and are only concerned with a Biden win, no matter how fraudulently procured.

                                        Sadly, this sort of hyper-partisanship has extended to elected officials, including some Democratic governors, such as Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, who has shown he’s set on certifying Pennsylvania’s fraudulent results—which now have Biden winning, despite a nearly 800,000-vote Trump lead on Election Day, and despite mountains of evidence of fraud.


                                        Cronyism: Undermining Economic Freedom and Prosperity Around the World

                                        Abstract: Backroom deals between members of the governing class and their hand-picked cronies influence the legislative, executive, and regulatory actions of governments around the world. Examples of this ancient form of corruption abound. Government intrusions into the private sector as a partner, financier, or outright owner are not only morally hazardous, but toxic to economic freedom. Such special-interest arrangements directly contradict the principles of freedom, incentives, and opportunity detailed in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. Citizens of any country need a system of non-discriminatory markets and impartial credit allocation, as well as rewards for individual success, in order to get ahead based on merit and hard work.

                                        It is common these days for those who feel “exploited by the system” to lash out at capitalism as the cause of their economic woes. When their complaints are examined, however, what stands out is not anger at an actual free-market capitalist system, but frustration with the prospect of an almost insurmountable economic system of privilege based on cronyism. In many parts of the globe, aspiring entrepreneurs, willing to work hard and full of ideas and energy, start out against a stacked deck because they lack political or family connections.

                                        To get ahead based on sheer merit and hard work, citizens of any country need a system that maintains non-discriminatory markets and impartial credit allocation, as well as rewards for individual success. That is the recipe for economic freedom—and for the opportunity to escape poverty and build lasting prosperity. Yet in far too many cases the future Sam Waltons, Ray Krocs, and Bill Gateses of the world are trapped in systems dominated by cronyism and corruption, where those with special access to government favors or information and those who already enjoy monopoly power dictate pricing and conditions of service, often becoming extravagantly rich in the process, while denying millions of their countrymen that very same access.

                                        In a true capitalist system success is determined by the market, the best mechanism ever discovered to set the value of goods and services—through the collective buying and selling decisions of all participants in the economy, not only through a select few with special access to government overseers or inside information.

                                        The Blight of Crony Capitalism

                                        Every day around the world decisions are made by government leaders to insinuate themselves and their bureaucracies as a partner, financier, or outright owner of formerly private corporations and enterprises, sometimes in joint ventures with labor unions. Often this insidious and growing “crony capitalism” is linked with European corporatist-style industrial policies, hailed by their statist supporters as the “public–private” wave of the future. Those who study history, however, already know the ending of this story, and it is not a happy one.

                                        When the collective decisions of the marketplace are overridden by government regulations, price setting, or even direct control or state ownership of natural resources, then “the system” is something quite distinct from free-market capitalism and truly does become the enemy of the “little guy.”

                                        Depending on the type and extent of government interference in the economy, the system resulting from cronyism might fairly be described as socialist, fascist, or communist. All three substitute government decision making for the collective judgment of the marketplace in allocating resources for production and consumption. Any of these systems can work in theory, although socialism has enjoyed long-term success only in a few Western European societies that are highly cohesive demographically and which enjoy high standards of ethical behavior: Their citizens traditionally have trusted each other and their governments to “do the right thing.” It is not socialism per se to the extent that European socialism has succeeded it is thanks to a system that might better be called “extended-family capitalism.”

                                        “Vertical Collectivism”: Less Economic Freedom, Plenty of Corruption

                                        Before they were defeated by the economically freer Allied Powers, two of the massive (and deadly) 20th-century experiments in applied theoretical socialism—fascism and communism—were held together in practice by what could be termed crony-capitalist-like arrangements. Fortunately the “vertically collectivist”[1] and totalitarian states known as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union finally collapsed onto the ash heap of history, with a big push from the West. They held together as long as they did only by suppression of most human rights. Free-market capitalism, by contrast, has enjoyed long periods of success in a variety of social settings.

                                        The jury is still out on whether Chinese reformers will finally get the upper hand over China’s cronyist nomenklatura and “princelings,”[2] but many European welfare states that did not learn from their sorry history of cronyism (Greece, Spain, and Portugal, for instance) are already facing potential bankruptcy.

                                        From the failed and costly takeover of the British automotive manufacturing sector by a socialist government in the 1970s to the refusal today by the Chinese government to reform its sclerotic state-owned enterprises, the record of statist policies is generally one of commercial failure and a vastly expanded, empowered, and burdensomely expensive public sector staffed by too many meddlesome bureaucrats.

                                        In economically free societies everyone benefits when honest and hard-working men and women, who have confidence that they can retain the fruits of their labors, have incentives to invest and work harder. That confidence is destroyed when the economic system is controlled by a government that directs the largesse and power of the state to those with connections. This sort of corruption is the definition of cronyism.

                                        Cronyism, Corruption, and Diminished Economic Performance. Beyond the myriad anecdotal stories available around the world, the correlation and causation between cronyism, corruption, and reduced economic performance has been robustly analyzed and established by a number of economists who have rigorously examined the phenomena from a variety of perspectives:

                                        • In 2009, Alexander Butler, Larry Fauver, and Sandra Mortal found “a strong impact of corruption and political connections on financial market outcomes” and concluded that “state corruption and political connections have strong effects on municipal bond sales and underwriting,” and that the greater the level of “pay-to-play” corruption in any given municipality, the greater the credit risk and the higher the bond yields and underwriting fees. Those higher bond yields translate directly into higher taxes.[3]
                                        • Examining cronyism and capital controls in Malaysia, Simon Johnson and Todd Mitton concluded that “cronyism increases with capital controls” and demonstrated that “only firms previously connected to Prime Minister Mahathir experienced a disproportionate increase in stock price in September 1998”[4] in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.
                                        • In his study of corruption in South Korea relative to Taiwan and the Philippines, Jong-Sung You noted that the concentration of wealth created by “chaebol industrialization increased corruption over time in Korea, in comparison with Taiwan.”[5] You found that cronyist Korean chaebols, the large, family-controlled, vertical monopolies established with the encouragement of South Korea’s dictator-president Park Chung Hee in the 1960s (and modeled on the pre-World War II zaibatsu in Japan), intended to spur rapid industrialization, but devolved into economically (and politically) destructive cronyist arrangements.
                                        • Naresh Khatri, Eric Tsang, and Thomas Begley concluded that cronyism is “more likely to occur in vertical than horizontal cultures” and “most likely to occur in vertical collectivist cultures” and “least likely to occur in horizontal individualist cultures.”[6] They note that “collectivist cultures value in-group relationships based frequently on kinship or other ascriptive ties” and “vertical cultures assume that people are different from one another, take hierarchy as a given, and accent status differences as well as respect for authority,” whereas “horizontal cultures value equality, see people as similar to one another, therefore interchangeable, and minimize status and authority distinctions” and that horizontalists “want to ensure that such decisions are made by those who know the limits of their power and subject their decisions to scrutiny.”[7]

                                        It is clear that the values and core principles enshrined in the Index of Economic Freedom are more in sync with the “individualists” and “horizontalists” in Khatri, Tsang, and Begley’s paradigm. They note that vertical collectivists tend toward “executive privilege under competitive conditions combined with in-group obligation in a collectivist environment” and that this “orients vertical collectivist cultures toward the highest levels of cronyism.”[8]

                                        A graph of countries according to their Index ranking confirms this hypothesis. It clearly demonstrates that “vertical collectivist countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh rank among the most corrupt, and horizontal individualist countries such as Finland and Denmark rank among the least,” both on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and on the Heritage Index.[9] (See Chart 1.)


                                        9. Marx&rsquos Legacy

                                        At this point, we might be expected briefly to survey Marx&rsquos legacy.

                                        That legacy is often elaborated in terms of movements and thinkers. However, so understood, the controversy and scale of that legacy make brevity impossible, and this entry is already long enough. All we can do here is gesture at the history and mention some further reading.

                                        The chronology here might provisionally be divided into three historical periods: from Marx&rsquos death until the Russia Revolution (1917) from the Russian Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and since 1989. It seems hard to say much that is certain about the last of these periods, but some generalisations about the first two might be hazarded.

                                        That first period of &ldquoClassical Marxism&rdquo can be thought of in two generational waves. The first smaller group of theorists was associated with the Second International, and includes Karl Kautsky (1854&ndash1938) and Plekhanov. The succeeding more activist generation includes Rosa Luxemburg (1871&ndash1919), V.I. Lenin (1870&ndash1924) and Leon Trotsky (1879&ndash1940).

                                        The second period is perhaps dominated by &ldquoSoviet Marxism&rdquo and the critical reaction from other Marxists that it provoked. The repressive bureaucratic regimes which solidified in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe repressed independent theoretical work, including scholarly editorial work on the writings of Marx and Engels. However, they also provoked a critical reaction in the form of a body of thought often called &ldquoWestern Marxism&rdquo, usually said to include the work of Antonio Gramsci (1891&ndash1937), Theodor Adorno (1903&ndash1969), and Althusser. The later parts of this period saw the continuing development of &ldquoCritical Theory&rdquo, as well as the birth of currents such as &ldquoAnalytical Marxism&rdquo whose longer term impact is uncertain.

                                        These first two periods are both partly covered by the Polish philosopher and historian of ideas, Leszek Kołakowski, in the final two volumes of his encyclopaedic three volume Main Currents of Marxism (1976 [1978]). A succinct critical account of the emergence and distinctive character of Western Marxism is provided by Perry Anderson in his Considerations on Western Marxism (1976). And some of the more philosophically interesting authors in this latter tradition are also covered elsewhere in this Encyclopaedia (see the Related Entries section below). Finally, and edging a little into the third of these historical periods, Christoph Henning offers an account of the (mis) readings of Marx&mdashespecially those replacing social theory with moral philosophy&mdashin German philosophy from Heidegger to Habermas and beyond, in his Philosophy After Marx (2014).

                                        However, we might also think of Marx&rsquos legacy, less in terms of thinkers and movements, and more in terms of reasons for wanting to study Marx&rsquos ideas. In that context, we would stress that this is not simply a question of the truth of his various substantive claims. The work of philosophers is, of course, also valued for the originality, insight, potential, and so on, that it may also contain. And, so judged, Marx&rsquos writings have much to offer.

                                        The various strands of Marx&rsquos thought surveyed here include his philosophical anthropology, his theory of history, his critical engagement with the economic and political dimensions of capitalism, and a frustratingly vague outline of what might replace it. Whatever the connections between these threads, it seems implausible to suggest that Marx&rsquos ideas form a system which has to be swallowed or rejected in its entirety. It might, for instance, be that Marx&rsquos diagnosis looks more persuasive than his remedies. Readers may have little confidence in his solutions, but that does not mean that the problems he identifies are not acute.