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Biden praises US 'flame of democracy' and criticises Trump after Electoral College win

Electors confirmed Biden as the president-elect yesterday.

US President-elect Joe Biden speaking after the Electoral College vote yesterday.
US President-elect Joe Biden speaking after the Electoral College vote yesterday.
Image: Patrick Semansky

JOE BIDEN HAS said that US democracy proved “resilient” against Donald Trump’s “abuse of power” after the Electoral College confirmed him as the next president yesterday.

In his first extended attack on Trump since the election, Biden said that the president and his allies “refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our constitution.”

Biden was referring to a Republican lawsuit, supported by Trump, that sought to overturn the results in several key states, before it was rejected unanimously by the US Supreme Court last Friday.

Biden praised voters for casting ballots in record numbers on 3 November despite fears of Covid-19 and “enormous political pressure, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence” against those running the election.

“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power can extinguish that,” Biden said.

Our democracy – pushed, tested, threatened – proved to be resilient, true, and strong.

Biden said that Trump has had full opportunity to contest the results in court and “in every case no cause or evidence was found to reverse or question or dispute.”

With the Electoral College having formalised his victory just hours earlier, Biden told the divided country: “It’s time to turn the page.”

“I’m convinced we can work together for the good of the nation,” he said.

The Electoral College vote, a formality confirming the will of voters expressed at the polls, is usually ignored by all but hardcore politics buffs.

This year, the procedure took centre stage as the US election system withstood weeks of assaults from the president and much of his party.

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Biden only needed 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes, which are divided up among the 50 states and he was headed for a total of 306 against Trump’s 232.

Counting was underway all day and when it got to California, the Democrat went over the minimum amount, making him officially the president-elect from that point on.

California’s electors applauded as the presiding officer read out the tally.

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AFP

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