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US Republican leader says there will be an 'orderly transition' after election following Trump remarks

Trump declined to commit to a peaceful transition if he loses in November.

Trump: stirred controversy on Wednesday (file photo)
Trump: stirred controversy on Wednesday (file photo)
Image: Oliver Contreras

US SENATE LEADER Mitch McConnell has moved to re-assure voters that the results of this year’s presidential will be implemented in an orderly way.

It comes a day after President Donald Trump declined to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses November’s election.

It follows several months of attempts by Trump to undermine mail-in voting, with tweets and public comments critical about the practice, which is being encouraged by some states to keep voters safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The president caused a stir on Wednesday when he refused to commit to honouring the results of the election or treat mail-in ballots as legitimate.

“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump responded when asked at a White House press conference whether if he is committed to the peaceful handover of power upon a change of president.

“You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster,” he said.

But last night, McConnell sought to dampen the controversy.

“The winner of the 3 November election will be inaugurated on 20 January,” he said in a tweeted statement.

“There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”

In recent campaign speeches, Trump has repeatedly said the election vote count could be rigged by Democrats, taking advantage of a surge in voting by mail due to Covid-19.

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On Wednesday, he suggested he believed he would win the election if mailed ballots aren’t counted.

“The ballots are out of control,” he said.

“Get rid of the ballots and you will have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” he said.

- © AFP 2020 with reporting by Stephen McDermott.

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