(Update 1: Adds Biden speech, changes headline and lede, edits throughout)
Washington DC, Dec 14 (EFE).- United States president-elect Joe Bidenon Monday called on outgoing president Donald Trump to accept his defeat in the November election, shortly after the Democrat’s win was confirmed.
The US Electoral College on Monday certified Biden as the country’s 46th president, dealing a blow to Trump, who has been strenuously attempting to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election, claiming voter fraud denied him reelection, although he has presented no evidence to support that.
“Respecting the will of the people is the heart of our democracy. Even when we find those results hard to accept. But that is the obligation of those who have taken on a sworn duty to uphold the constitution,” Biden said in a speech.
It was the president-elect’s most direct speech to date, condemning Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the election minutes after Hawaii closed the Electoral College vote, confirming 306 delegates for Biden – well over the 270 threshold – and 232 for Trump.
“Three hundred and six electoral votes is the same number of electoral votes that Donald Trump and Vice President Pence received when they won in 2016. At the time, President Trump called his electoral college tally a landslide,” Biden said.
“By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now,” he added.
Biden condemned the outgoing president’s attempts to reverse the will of more than 20 million Americans through legal challenges and recounts.
“Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately completely rejected this effort. The court sent a clear signal to President Trump that they would be no part of an unprecedented assault on our democracy,” Biden said.
The president-elect told the country it is time to begin a new chapter.
“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed … The integrity of our elections remain intact. And now it’s time to turn the page… to unite, to heal,” he said.
The Electoral College also ratified the election of Biden’s running mate and California senator Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman and the first person of Black and/or South Asian heritage to serve as US vice president when they are both inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Trump’s unprecedented campaign to overturn the election result had given special importance to the Electoral College vote, although in the past it had been merely a bureaucratic formality to ratify a result that was already acknowledged by the losing candidates.
The confirmation of Biden’s victory thus deals the coup de grace to Trump’s attempts to reverse the election result, although it is still possible that the president or his supporters will try to interfere in the last phase of the process, when Congress meets to approve the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6.
Trump did not react immediately to the Electoral College news, but in an apparent attempt to divert attention from the event, shortly afterwards he took to Twitter to announce that his longtime ally US Attorney General William Barr, who has recently gone against the leader’s claims of electoral fraud, will step down from his role before Christmas. EFE