Democrat Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election late on Saturday after a bitter campaign, sparking street celebrations among his supporters in major cities even as President Donald Trump refused to accept defeat. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris has scripted history by becoming first woman, Black and Indian-American Vice President-elect of the United States.
Also read: the world reacts to Biden’s win
Biden’s victory in the battleground State of Pennsylvania put him over the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes he needed to clinch the presidency, ending four days of nail-biting suspense in a deeply divided country.
Here are the live updates (all times IST):
I don’t see red States and blue States, only the United States: Joe Biden
Biden declares victory in U.S. Presidential polls. This is his first address to the nation as the Presidenti-elect.
“Folks, the people of this nation have spoken. They’ve delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory,” Biden says, referring to a record breaking 74 million votes he won.
“I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify… who doesn’t see Red States and Blue States but the United States,” he says in a speech that placed thrust on science, unity, hope and decency. He says he wants a Cabinet that looks like America.
President-elect Joe Biden addresses a motorcade rally at Delaware.
Addressing Trump supporters, Biden says: “I understand the disappointment. I’ve lost a couple times myself. But now let’s give each other a chance… listen to each other again… we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”
I will spare no effort to turn around this pandemic: Biden on COVID-19. “Don’t just keep the faith, spread the faith,” says Biden, concluding the speech. His wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and family members, all wearing masks, join him on stage. He is later joined by Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff, both wearing masks.
Kamala Harris says voters ushered in ‘new day for America’
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said voters had brought a “new day for America” as she opened a victory speech on Saturday with President-elect Joe Biden.
Harris, who will be the highest-ranking woman in US history, took the stage in Wilmington, Delaware in a white suit in honor of the women’s suffragist movement to the sounds of Mary J. Blige.
“When our very democracy was on the ballot in this election, with the very soul of America at stake and the world watching, you ushered in a new day for America,” Harris said to cheers from the socially distanced outdoor crowd. – AFP
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to speak at a motorcade rally in Wilmington, Delaware soon.
Why are questions being raised about the viability of America’s electoral system?
The 2020 U.S. presidential election has been one of the most bitterly polarised democratic exercises in recent memory. The winner, Democrat and former Vice-President Joe Biden, has won over 74 million votes, and his rival, incumbent Republican president Donald Trump, has garnered over 70 million votes.
The fact that this election has seen one of the highest turnout numbers since 1960 suggests that voters and both campaigns pushed hard to get their chosen candidate elected. But despite the presence of both a ‘blue wave’ and a ‘red wave’, the final outcome came down to the wire, and hinged on narrow vote margins in a handful of ‘swing States’.
These circumstances have fuelled anger over the lack of direct representation in the electoral system and has raised questions surrounding the viability of the institution, the ‘Electoral College’, that renders the popular vote insufficient to determine the victor.
Kamala Harris breaks barriers as America’s next Vice-President
First time Senator Kamala Devi Harris has scripted history by becoming first woman, Black and Indian-American Vice President of the United States.
Harris was picked by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as his running mate in August, months after she suspended her own presidential dreams, saying she lacked the financial resources to continue her campaign.
A fierce critic-turned ally of her former rival Biden, the 56-year-old California Senator is one of only three Asian Americans in the Senate and she’s the first Indian-American ever to serve in the chamber.
Harris is known for many firsts. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco — the first woman and first African-American and Indian-origin to be elected to the position. – PTI