Donald Trump fights exclusion from Maine primary elections

Donald Trump’s legal team disputes allegations of his involvement in the January 6 incidents and questions Bellows’ authority to exclude him from the ballot.

Former US president and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, on December 19, 2023. – AFP

Former US President Donald Trump is fighting to overturn a decision by Maine elections official Secretary of State Shenna Bellows that disqualified him from participating in the state’s Republican presidential primary next year.

US media reports reveal that Donald Trump appealed on Tuesday, challenging Bellows’ decision, attributing his exclusion to his alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Donald Trump, currently the leading contender for the Republican nomination, approached a state Superior Court, seeking a reversal of the Bellows ruling that excluded him from the vote scheduled for March 5. Bellows, a Democrat, deemed Trump ineligible for office under the U.S. Constitution. , citing his alleged role in inciting the insurrection after his defeat in the 2020 election.

Trump’s legal team has consistently refuted claims of his involvement in the insurrection and questioned Bellows’ authority to exclude him from the ballot.

The decision arose from a petition by former Maine lawmakers urging Bellows to keep Trump off the ballot, citing a constitutional provision that disqualifies people who participate in an “insurrection” after pledging allegiance to the United States.

Various advocacy groups and anti-Trump factions have launched multiple challenges to Trump’s candidacy under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. These legal battles center on Trump’s alleged incitement of his supporters with baseless claims of election fraud, followed by the Capitol riot aimed at preventing the certification of Joe Biden as President.

The matter is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court following a similar exclusion of Trump from the Colorado primary. A Supreme Court ruling may offer a nationwide resolution to questions about Trump’s eligibility.

While courts in other states have dismissed similar lawsuits against Trump, his campaign denounces these election challenges as an affront to American democracy.

Despite these legal disputes, opinion polls indicate that Trump maintains a significant lead in the race for the Republican nomination as state-by-state contests begin on January 15.

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