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23 April 2024

Obama wins US Democrats Abroad global primary

By Agencies

Barack Obama won the Democrats Abroad global primary in results announced on Thursday, giving him 11 straight victories in the race for the US Democratic presidential nomination.


The senator won the primary in which Democrats living in other countries voted by Internet, mail and in person, according to results released by the Democrats Abroad, an organisation sanctioned by the national party.


Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton has not won a nominating contest in more than two weeks.


More than 20,000 US citizens living abroad voted in the primary, which ran from February 5 to February 12. Obama won about 65 per cent of the vote, according to the results released on Thursday.


Voters living in 164 countries cast votes online, while expatriates voted in person in more than 30 countries, at hotels in Australia and Costa Rica, at a pub in Ireland and at a Starbucks coffee shop in Thailand. The results took about a week to tabulate as local committees around the globe gathered ballots.


“This really gives Americans an opportunity to participate,” said Christine Schon Marques, the international chairwoman of Democrats Abroad.


There is no comparable primary among Republicans, though the party has several contests this weekend in US territories, including caucuses in Puerto Rico on Sunday.


The Democrats Abroad controls seven pledged delegates at the party’s national nominating convention in August. However, the group’s system of dividing the delegates is unique, and could create an anomaly in which Obama and Clinton end up with fractions of delegates.


The party will send 14 pledged delegates to the convention, each with a half vote. The primary was used to determine nine people, or the equivalent of 4.5 delegates. Obama won 2.5 and Clinton won two, according to Schon Marques.


The Democrats Abroad will hold a global convention in Vancouver in April to select the other five people who will attend the convention. They will represent the remaining 2.5 votes.


The system creates the possibility that Obama and Clinton could each end up with an extra half vote at the convention, Schon Marques said.


Democratic parties in US territories use similar systems, in which they send twice the number of delegates, giving them each a half vote. But their systems are designed to ensure that candidates do not end up with fractions of delegates.


Heading into the Democrats Abroad primary, Obama led with 1,351 delegates, and Clinton had 1,262. (AP)