Bush’s Re-Election Produces Mixed Reactions Globally, Including Over HIV/AIDS IssuesPresident Bush was re-elected to a second term on Tuesday in a "victory [that has] produced a sense of gloom and foreboding" throughout the world, including mixed reactions to how he has addressed the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the Chicago Tribune reports (Hundley, Chicago Tribune, 11/3). Bush now has "positioned himself and his party to push through a conservative agenda in Washington over the next four years," the New York Times reports (Nagourney, New York Times, 11/4). However, for many people living outside the United States, Bush's re-election was a "dispiriting result that underscored the deep rift in policies and perceptions that has opened up between the United States and many of its allies since Bush took office in January 2001," according to the Washington Post (Frankel, Washington Post, 11/4).
Addressing HIV/AIDS in Africa
In South Africa, many people "bemoaned a black day for the world," especially Africa, as Bush's re-election became apparent, according to South Africa's Mail & Guardian. "Bush has made it clear, despite his public pronouncements, that Africa was not a priority, so it's bad news for us as well," Kevin Malunga, a law lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, said, adding, "He reacted very late to crises here -- in Darfur, Liberia and other places -- which shows what's important for him." However, some people said that the funding Bush has pledged to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa is beneficial for the continent, according to the Mail & Guardian (Kumar Chanda, Mail & Guardian, 11/3). Bush last year launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which is a five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding to 15 focus countries, including 12 countries in Africa (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/3). Bush has "offered a surprising amount of aid and trade concessions to Africa as well as assistance with HIV/AIDS," Greg Mills, director of the South African Institute of International Affairs, said, adding that the president's re-election was "probably better news for Africa than a changeover in administrations," according to the Tribune. However, Khabele Matlosa, a senior analyst with the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, said that Africa is "better off with a U.S. president who looks at the world in a way that accepts the reality that we are all part of the world, that the U.S. is not the only player. I don't think Mr. Bush, with all due respect, stands the continent in good stead" (Chicago Tribune, 11/3).