U.S. admits own election could be violent, assures foreign journalists of protection

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The U.S. Department of State has assured foreign journalists covering the U.S. presidential election of adequate protection in the event of violence during the poll.

Mark Zimmer, the media official at the 2016 U.S. General Elections Embed programme in Washington D.C., acknowledged that there had been fears of possible violence during the poll.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two Nigerian Journalists from NAN and Channels Television are among the 24 participants at the programme.

The programme is administered by the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) and sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Press Centres and U.S. Embassy Posts.

Mr. Zimmer regretted that the election “is a highly charged one”, and said the electioneering was an interesting but unusual event in the U.S. history.

He, however, said that there was no “special” arrangement to protect anybody or group, as everyone will be treated equally throughout the period.

“We don’t anticipate unusual violence. We expect the best and prepare for the worst,” he said.

Mr. Zimmer said the U.S. Government was concerned about the global perception of the election.

He, however, assured the international community that the process would lead to a conclusive end by January 20, 2017.

“This (electioneering) is a process; it’s not going to be neat and tidy all the time, but it will lead to electing a president; it is messy but it is going to work.

“We will have a president come Jan. 20; in the meantime, it may look rough and look untidy but it will work.

“There could be violence but I don’t think it is going to be awful,” he said.

The U.S. official explained that foreign Journalists were also concerned about what would become of the relations between their countries and the U.S. should a particular candidate win.

The U.S. presidential election, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, would be the 58th four-year period U.S. presidential election.

There candidates are Republican Donald Trump, Democratic Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein.

The winner of the election would be the 45th President of the U.S., and would be inaugurated on January 20, 2017. (NAN)

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