US election: Joe Biden vows to ‘unify’ nation in victory speech

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  • 2020 US election

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In his first speech as President-elect, Joe Biden said it was “time to heal the US” and vowed not to divide the country but to unite it.

“Let’s give each other a chance,” he said at an event in Delaware, addressing those who hadn’t voted for him.

Mr Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump after a post-election vote on Tuesday.

Mr Trump has not yet conceded and has not spoken publicly since his defeat was announced while playing golf.

The result makes Trump the first president to serve since the 1990s. His campaigning has led to a spate of lawsuits across states, but election officials say there is no evidence that the vote against him was rigged as he has claimed.

Impromptu celebrations erupted in major cities after the media announced Mr Biden’s victory on Saturday. Disappointed Trump supporters demonstrated in some cities, but there were no reports of incidents.

Biden: “We have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”

To cheering supporters in a parking lot in his hometown of Wilmington, Mr. Biden said, “I promise to be a president who does not want to divide but to unite; if you don’t see red and blue states, you only see the United States.”

Mr Biden, who has won more than 74 million votes to date, the highest ever for a US presidential candidate, welcomed the “diverse” support he had garnered during the campaign, and particularly thanked African-American voters.

But he has also addressed Trump supporters directly.

“It’s time to get rid of the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” said Biden, without mentioning his rival in the election. “And to move forward, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”

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The president-elect, who came on stage wearing a face mask, announced that he would set up his coronavirus response committee to ensure it is ready to implement decisions from its inauguration day in January because “this is the only way we can live again.” ” “.

The Trump administration’s response to the pandemic was the focus of the presidential campaign and was heavily criticized by Mr Biden, who said his plan would be “built on basic research.” The US has reported more than 237,000 deaths, most of all countries.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionSupporters gathered in Wilmington for Mr. Biden’s speech

Harris: You chose hope and unity.

Mr. Biden was introduced by his run mate, Kamala Harris, who is about to become the first female Vice President in the country’s history.

She will also be the first black and first Asian American female vice president when she takes office after a year of nationwide protests over racial injustice.

Ms. Harris paid tribute to her late mother, an Indian immigrant to the United States, and the other generations of Black, Asian, White, Latin American, and native women who “paved the way for this moment tonight.”

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last,” she added.

As she thought about the campaign, she said to the supporters: “When our democracy was on the ballot in this election, the soul of America was at stake and the whole world was watching, you ushered in a new day for America.”

She added, “You chose hope and unity, decency, science and yes, truth – you elected Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. And the road ahead won’t be easy, but America is ready, and Joe and me too . “

Media signatureWho is Kamala Harris, Vice President-Elect?

A change in the president’s rhetoric

In an earlier time, Joe Biden’s victory speech would have been pretty routine. The president-elect spoke of unity, of ending the sharpness, of the potential and power of the American people. These are feelings that many successful politicians have raised in the past.

However, after Donald Trump’s presidency they form a sharp contrast. The president Mr. Biden will replace has been one who has been criticized many times for fueling cultural divisions and doing little to quell the unrest that broke out in many US cities earlier this year.

Mr Biden spoke of his election as a “turning point” that would allow the American people to make a decision about “who we are and who we want to be”.

As the speech on Saturday evening showed, the presidency of Biden will mean a change in the rhetoric of the president. The American people have an elected president who talks about bringing the country together. about being a guide to all people. To say it’s the easy part; now he has to do it.

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Trump “does not plan to admit”

The BBC predicted Mr Biden’s victory on Saturday after winning over the 270 electoral college required by the White House on major Pennsylvania and Nevada battlefields.

This prediction is based on the unofficial results of states that have already counted their votes and the expected results of states like Wisconsin that are continuing the counting.

Mr Trump has not spoken publicly since the numbers were released, but reiterated previous claims of election fraud in a tweet that Twitter soon dubbed a “controversial” claim. The Trump campaign has shown that its candidate has no intention of admitting.

With Mr Biden likely to win, Mr Trump stood defiant, saying Mr Biden “falsely presented himself as the winner” and insisted the election was “far from over”. The president received more than 70 million votes, the second highest number in history.

The response from senior Republicans has been subdued. Republican Party leader Ronna McDaniel tweeted: “The media don’t decide who wins the elections, but the voters.”

But Senator Mitt Romney, a critic of Mr. Trump, congratulated Mr. Biden and Mrs. Harris. He said he and his wife “know both as people of goodwill and admirable characters”.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionPresident Trump looked cautious when he returned to the White House on Saturday

What’s happening now

Mr Trump has vowed to challenge the election results on several fronts. A recount will be in Georgia, where margins are tight, and Mr Trump wants the same in Wisconsin. He has also vowed to take legal action in the Supreme Court for alleging election fraud without evidence.

If the election result is challenged, legal teams would have to challenge it in the state courts. State judges would then have to uphold the challenge and order a recount, and Supreme Court justices could then be asked to overturn a decision.

On Saturday, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit over election day ballots in Arizona claiming it was falsely rejected. However, Arizona’s foreign minister said in a statement that the case “is reaching for straws”.

In the meantime, some states continue to count votes and the results will not be official until after final certification, which will take place in each state in the weeks following the election.

This must happen before 538 selected officials (voters) of the electoral college – which officially decides who will win the election – meet for a vote in their state capitals on December 14th.

The votes of voters usually reflect the popular vote in each state. However, in some states this is not a formal requirement.

The new president will be officially sworn into office on January 20 after a transition period to give them time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.

The transfer of power occurs during a ceremony known as the inauguration, which takes place on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington DC. After the ceremony, the new president will head to the White House to begin his four-year term.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionThe President’s supporters continued to hold rallies

How happy Biden is with the election for the third time

Mr Biden, who will be 78 years old when he takes office, making him the oldest President in office, has run twice for the White House.

In 1988, he withdrew from the race after admitting to plagiarizing a speech by then-Labor leader Neil Kinnock.

In 2008, he tried again to get the Democratic nomination before stepping out and joining Barack Obama’s ticket.

Media signatureA look back at Joe Biden’s life and political career

His eight years as Vice President enabled him to draw on much of Mr Obama’s legacy, including the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The six-year-old Senator from Delaware was first elected in 1972.

At the beginning of his career he was on the side of the southern segregationists when he spoke out against school buses ordered by the court for the racist integration of public schools.

He was also a strong advocate of a 1994 anti-crime law that many leftists now say resulted in long sentences and mass incarceration.

Most Americans know that Joe Biden’s life was marked by personal tragedy – experiences he often refers to.

In 1972, he lost his first wife, Neilia, and their young daughter, Naomi, in a car accident. He took the oath of office for his first tenure in the Senate from the sickroom of his toddler sons Beau and Hunter, who both survived the accident.

In 2015, Beau died of brain cancer at the age of 46, and Joe Biden said it played a role in his decision not to run for president in 2016.

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