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Trump, allies ‘refuse to respect will of people, rule of law’: Biden

US President-elect rebukes Republicans after his victory is officially confirmed

WILMINGTON : US President-elect Joe Biden delivered a forceful rebuke on Monday to President Donald Trump's attacks on the legitimacy of his victory, hours after winning the state-by-state Electoral College vote that officially determines the US presidency.

Mr Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that the President and his allies "refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honour our Constitution".

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

Mr Biden praised voters for the record turnout on Nov 3 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," Mr Biden said.

He noted that his 306-232 margin in the Electoral College was the same as Mr Trump's 2016 victory, which the Republican described as a "landslide".

But Mr Biden also said in the prime-time speech that it was time "to unite, to heal".

Monday's vote, typically a formality, assumed outsized significance in light of Mr Trump's extraordinary effort to subvert the process due to what he has falsely alleged was widespread voter fraud in the Nov 3 election.

California, the most populous US state, put Mr Biden over the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College when its 55 electors unanimously cast ballots for him and his running mate, Ms Kamala Harris.

Mr Biden and Ms Harris - the first woman, first black and first Asian American to become Vice-President-elect - will be sworn in on Jan 20.

UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS

Mr Trump said late last month that he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Mr Biden, but he has since shown no interest in conceding.

On Monday, he repeated a series of unsupported claims.

"Swing States that have found massive VOTER FRAUD, which is all of them, CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete & correct without committing a severely punishable crime," he tweeted. - REUTERS, AFP

WORLD