One month separates Americans from a day that many contemporary historians see for weeks as the most important day in contemporary American history, which is the day of the presidential election on November 3.
The news that President Donald Trump, 74, was infected with the new Corona virus, doubled in importance on November 3, when the Americans vote either to install President Trump to rule for another 4 years, or to choose Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, as the new president of the United States and end Trump’s rule.
With the continuing spread of the Corona virus in the United States, the number of infections reaching more than 7 million people, and the number of deaths approaching 210 thousand, and with Trump joining the list of Corona sufferers, many of the same questions arise about the fate of the presidential elections.
Al-Jazeera Net presents the following questions and answers how Trump’s injury may affect the fate of the upcoming elections:
* Will President Trump, the candidate on the Republican Party’s card for the US presidential elections, carry out electoral activities after being infected with the Coronavirus?
Yes, Trump’s election campaign has announced that he will participate remotely and through video conferencing technology in some electoral events that include meetings with supporters, meetings with potential funders, and perhaps a press conference.
Of course, no one imagines that the president will stop using his Twitter account, through which 86.6 million people follow him.
However, all of this will depend on President Trump’s health, which initial reports described as having mild symptoms similar to a classic cold.
* Is it possible to postpone holding the presidential elections due to candidate Trump’s illness?
– Throughout American history, the presidential elections have not been postponed, and the elections were held during the Civil War and during the two world wars.
But if the elections are postponed, which requires the approval of both houses of Congress, the leader of the House of Representatives will become the new President of the United States at noon on January 20, but this is a scenario difficult to imagine.
It seems impossible to replace one candidate’s name with another at this time without the start of the entire electoral process, which is not possible during the 30 days leading up to Election Day. The vote of nearly 3 million people adds up (so far and the number is increasing daily) and with the difficulty of printing ballot papers in the name of a new candidate, Congress may have to intervene and postpone the elections if one of the candidates is unable to move.
But this scenario seems difficult to imagine in light of the congestion and polarization that American policy suffers from, and the unwillingness of the Republicans to make the Speaker of the House of Representatives Naci Pelosi president of the United States even for a temporary period.
In the end, Trump’s presidency ends constitutionally at 12 noon on January 20, 2021, under any circumstances. Constitutionally, he cannot remain president after him unless he is re-elected.
What happens if one of the presidential candidates, Trump or Biden, dies?
Most of the experts are unanimous on escalating the person of the vice president and placing him in the place of the president, and choosing a new vice president.
In the case of the Republican Party, the 168 members of the party’s National Committee (3 from each state and US territory) meet, and each member is given relative weight according to the population of his state, and a new candidate is elected, often Vice President Mike Pence, and in this case Pence chooses deputy for him.
The situation is similar to that of the Democratic Party, where Biden Vice President Kamala Harris is escalated to represent the party on the presidential election card, and she, in turn, chooses a vice president.
* What should be done in case of death a few days before the elections?
Procedurally, this scenario may be complicated if the death occurred a day or two before the election date so that it is impossible to print new ballot papers with new names, especially since some of the cards may have been received by mail voting in some states, and millions have already voted, and this may create a state of chaos He does not want anyone to imagine it.
* What is the scenario of the death of one of the candidates after the elections and before the inauguration of the new president?
The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution recognized that if the president-elect dies before his inauguration as president on January 20, the position automatically transfers to the vice president, who in turn selects his deputy.
When the death occurs before the official documentation of the election results, which takes place in mid-December, members of the electoral college can change the name of the president in their official documents that they present to Congress for approval of the election results.
The laws of some states prohibit changing members of the electoral college by using the name of the winning candidate in the elections. However, there is flexibility in these exceptional and compelling cases.
* What is the fate of the remaining presidential debates?
– No one knows yet. Next Wednesday is scheduled for the debate on the two Vice Presidents, Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris, and there are doubts about its convening.
The same applies to the remaining two presidential debates, which are scheduled for the 15 and 22 of this month.
Could the presidential debates be canceled?
– Yes, there is no legal or constitutional obligation to conduct debates, and it is a tradition that is practiced and carried out by agreement between the two candidates’ campaigns. The absence of debates does not affect any official arrangements for the elections.
What happens if President Donald Trump’s health worsens badly?
If Trump’s condition worsens dramatically, he may favor Constitutional Amendment No. 25 that allows the president to temporarily transfer his powers to the vice president.
And if Vice President Pence took over the reins of affairs at that stage, this would be the fourth time that the relevant item – Article 3 – has been invoked in the past 40 years.
President Reagan signed it once, and President George W. Bush twice. All three cases were due to the president performing pre-scheduled surgery.
There is also the possibility – remote for now but not excluded – that President Trump simply will not be in good health to seek a second term even after his recovery.