After weeks of waiting, the international community’s last major holdouts acknowledged the results of last month’s U.S. election on Tuesday, with the presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Russia publicly congratulating President-elect Joe Biden for his Electoral College win this week — even though President Donald Trump still refuses to concede.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a letter to Biden on Monday night recognizing his victory and suggesting the two leaders converse at some point.
López Obrador told Biden he looks forward to working together on immigration policy, and his letter called for “self-determination” and “respect for our sovereignty,” a frequent theme in López Obrador’s domestic agenda and an occasional point of contention between him and Trump.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also broke weeks of silence about the U.S. presidential race Tuesday morning, wishing Biden good luck in a statement.
For more than a month, López Obrador, Putin and Bolsonaro were the only major world leaders to hold off on acknowledging Biden’s win, tacitly backing Trump’s claim that the 2020 election remains unresolved. By comparison, most leaders recognized Biden’s victory shortly after Election Day last month. But after Monday’s Electoral College votes cemented Biden’s status as president-elect, the three leaders dropped their hesitation.
López Obrador told reporters Tuesday he waited more than a month before congratulating Biden because the Electoral College had not yet voted. However, some Mexican officials told Reuters López Obrador wanted to avoid angering Trump, especially after years of contentious and sometimes openly antagonistic negotiations on trade and immigration policy between the two countries. Plus, López Obrador is no stranger to disputed elections. In 2006, he refused to concede defeat after narrowly losing a presidential election to Felipe Calderón, and he spent weeks spreading allegations of voter fraud and fomenting protests.