The Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the just concluded United States elections, Joe Biden has been declared the 46th president of America, denying Donald Trump of the Republican Party a second term after a deeply divisive presidency defined by a once-in-a-century pandemic, economic turmoil and social unrest.
Biden won the presidency by clinching Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, after days of painstaking vote counting following record turnout across the country. The win in Pennsylvania, which the Associated Press called at 11:25am EST on Saturday with 99% of the votes counted, took Biden’s electoral college vote to 284, surpassing the 270 needed to win the White House.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America,” Biden said in a statement after the result was called on Saturday, exactly 48 years after he was first elected to the US Senate.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite and to heal.”
The American people have replaced a real estate developer and reality TV star who had no political experience with a veteran of Washington who has spent more than 50 years in public life and twice ran unsuccessfully for president. Trump is now the first incumbent to lose re-election since 1992, when Bill Clinton defeated George H W Bush.
In a statement, Trump refused to concede to Biden and said his campaign would pursue unspecified legal challenges regarding the results.
With turnout projected to reach its highest point in a century, a fearful and anxious nation elected a candidate who promised to govern not as a Democrat but as an “American president” and vowed to be a unifying force after four years of upheaval.
The result also marked the historic rise of Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman and the first woman of color to serve as vice-president in American history.
The outcome threatened to send convulsions across the country, as Trump’s campaign made baseless claims of voter fraud and vowed to challenge the results.