WITH the eyes of the world fixed upon them — Americans voting in absentee and in polling centres throughout their 54 states — made history, electing their first African American President to his second term in office.
Democratic Candidate President Barack Obama defeated Republican rival Governor Mitt Romney — reaching the all deciding 270 electoral votes first to retain his White House seat. In Fiji, expatriates, dignitaries, ambassadors and government officials gathered at the United States Embassy in Suva to witness the two leading candidates slug it out in different states for the votes.
And the live updates only added to the apprehension of those present with the electoral vote lead constantly changing hands between President Obama and Governor Romney.
The largely Obama partisan crowd were able to breathe a small sigh of relief when CNN forecast a second term of office for Obama before polls closed, but once Governor Romney conceded defeat — the atmosphere became decidedly more relaxed.
With his victory yesterday, President Obama becomes the 45th President of the United States and one of only a handful of US Presidents to be elected to a second consecutive term in office.
In his victory speech last night President Obama said no matter who the American citizens had voted for, they had made a difference. "Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone. Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference," President Obama said.
"Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come."