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Anti-Trump revolt rocks Republican convention in Cleveland
Tuesday July 19, 2016 12:38 PM, AFP

Cleveland (US): The Republican convention opened to chaotic scenes as Donald Trump's opponents and supporters traded angry shouts, disrupting his plans for a smooth coronation as the party's White House nominee.

Jeers and yells filled the convention floor in Cleveland yesterday, Ohio as simmering divisions among thousands of Republican delegates spilled out into the open.

Anti-Trump Republicans -- outraged that their party will be led by a man who described Mexicans as rapists and advocated banning Muslims -- expressed fury when procedural machinations denied them a chance to register their discontent.

"We deserve to be heard, this is the people's convention!" said Diana Shores a delegate from Virginia, while pro-Trump delegates tried to drown out the rebels with shouts of "Shame! Shame!"

This was meant to be Trump's moment.

Heading into the four-day political jamboree at the tightly secured arena in Cleveland, he had tried to assuage conservative critics and bring the party together by naming Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

Trump was expected later in the day in Cleveland, where his wife Melania Trump, a Slovenian-born former model, has top billing for the first prime-time session and will make the case for her husband's policies and personality.

But yesterday's floor protest raises serious questions about Republican unity heading into the November election.

The tough-talking real estate mogul's rise to the top of the Republican party has been one of the more improbable journeys in American politics.

Trump's opponents had little chance of stopping his march.

But with an eye on history, many wanted a floor vote to record for posterity who backed the 70-year-old Trump and those who did not.

"We're here to be delegates not rubber stamps," said Regina Thomson a delegate from Colorado.

Trump fans argue delegates should heed the will of the grassroots of the party.

The billionaire won a thumping victory in a series of statewide party elections, winning more than 13 million votes -- the most of any Republican nominee ever.

Hours earlier, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus told thousands of cheering delegates: "This convention will come to order."

A string of speakers then recited familiar conservative credos and lambasted their Democratic nemesis Hillary Clinton.




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