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US Election Parties Held Around the World

People around the world are eagerly awaiting results from the U.S. presidential election, holding parties into the early morning hours in the streets, in bars, hotels and homes.

Africans are paying very close attention to this U.S. election because Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama, whose late father was born in Kenya, is extremely popular there.

Ethiopians said they had never stayed up so late for any election results.

Election aficionados watching in bars in Senegal's capital, Dakar, cheered every time early results broadcast on television favored Obama, and booed when they favored his Republican rival, Senator John McCain.

World opinion polls indicate Obama would win easily if non-Americans were the ones voting - but not everywhere.

One place where McCain seems to have strong support is in Israel, where many believe his policies would be more effective in dealing with threats from Iran.

But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday whoever becomes the next U.S. president will be a friend of Israel's.

McCain says his military experience and long service in the Senate give him the experience to manage delicate relations with Iran, as well as the war in Iraq.

Obama turned world attention to the U.S. campaign when he made a highly-publicized trip to the Middle East, Afghanistan and Europe in July.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declined to tell reporters Tuesday who he is supporting, but told Al-Arabiya television that whoever wins, "history has been made in this campaign."

Obama would be the United States' first African-American president. At 72 years old, McCain would be the oldest person elected president for a first term.

For many people, Obama represents an ideological shift from President George Bush, who has drawn outrage from human rights defenders around the world for the mistreatment of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.