American President Barack Obama has urged Americans to defend democracy in a farewell speech he gave in Chicago before stepping down from his post.
Obama, who has been at the helm of the United States for the last eight years, said that with the measures he has taken today, Americans are living better and America is stronger.
He said that democracy will be threatened if the country does not take care of it. He called on Americans from all backgrounds to understand each other better, to look at things from each other’s perspective and added, “we need to pay attention and listen”.
The country’s first black President, who is now 55 years old, was elected for the first time in 2008 on a message of hope and change.
Meanwhile, his successor Donald Trump promised to repeal the policies which Obama has left behind him, including Obamacare. Trump will be inaugurated as President on 20 January.
Speaking to his supporters, Obama stopped the chant of “four more years”. “I can’t do it”, he said with a smile. According to the Constitution, each US President can only serve for two legislatures.
“No, no, no, no” he said when the crowd started booing Mr Trump as his successor. Mr Obama said that the peaceful transfer of power between presidents is the positive “trademark” of American democracy.
However, he also referred to the three threats to democracy: economic inequality, racial divisons and beliefs which are not based on facts.
In his last remarks he asked the American people to continue believing. “It is not up to me to bring about change, it is up to you”.
Back in Chicago, the place where he first announced his victory in 2008, Obama gave a mostly positive message to Americns after a divisive electoral campaign which saw Trump beating Hillary Clinton.
Obama told young Americans, including those who worked for his campaign, to believe in a fair and inclusive society, and that he would be leaving the Presidency with more optimistic feelings in the country than when he took over the leadership.