WASHINGTON: Hours after the US Electoral College officially certified his victory in the November 3 presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden called his and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's triumph as the "clearest demonstration of the will of the American people".
On Monday, Biden and Harris's victory was sealed in the Electoral College after electors from every state gathered at Capitols across the country. They voted 306 for Biden and 232 for President Donald Trump.
Members of Congress are expected to certify the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021, after which Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President on January 20.
"Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy even when we find those results hard to accept," The Hill news website quoted Biden as saying in a speech near his home in Delaware late Monday.
"But that's the obligation of those who have taken on a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. "In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed... Faith in our institutions held and the integrity of our elections remained intact.
"And now it's time to turn the page as we've done throughout our history, to unite and to heal," he added.
The former Vice President also claimed that he and Harris won more votes than any previous presidential ticket in history. Praising election workers and state officials, Biden said: "They could not and would not give credence to what they know is not true.
"They knew this election was overseen, it was honest, it was free and it was fair. They saw it with their own eyes, and they wouldn't be bullied into saying anything different.
"They were subject to political pressure, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence... It's simply unconscionable."
Meanwhile, Trump is yet to concede and his re-election campaign was making last-ditch efforts to overturn the election outcome, claiming voter fraud. In the latest blow, the US Supreme Court on December 11 rejected a lawsuit from Texas in a bid to overturn the results in four battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Supreme Court also turned away another appeal from Pennsylvania Republicans on December 9. Regarding this, Biden said: "The Trump campaign brought dozens of legal challenges to test the result.
"They were heard, again and again, and each of the time they were heard, they were found to be without merit.
"Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort, sending a clear signal to the president that they'd be no part in an unprecedented assault on our democracy." On the raging coronavirus pandemic, the President-elect it was "urgent work" to get the crisis "under control, to getting the nation vaccinated against this virus, (and) delivering immediate economic help so badly needed by so many Americans who are hurting today". (IANS)
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