The Electoral College has voted to make Joe Biden's victory in the recently concluded US Presidential elections official. The reaffirmation of Biden and Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as the Vice President of the US comes even as incumbent Donald Trump continues to wage a legal battle and alleges widespread voter fraud in the polls.
In a speech from his longtime home of Wilmington, Delaware, Biden aimed to guide Americans past the tumult of the campaign and President Donald Trump's refusal to accept defeat. "If anyone didn't know it before, we know it now. What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: Democracy," Biden said.
"The right to be heard. To have your vote counted. To choose the leaders of this nation. To govern ourselves."
"In America, politicians don't take power - the people grant it to them," Biden said. "The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing - not even a pandemic - or an abuse of power - can extinguish that flame," he added, pledging to be "a president for all Americans".
In accordance with the Constitution and federal law, the Electoral College cast its votes on Monday for the President, the elections for which were held on November 3. The Electors met in their respective states following certification of the results. Typically, the meeting of the Electoral College is merely a formality. However, it received international attention because of Trump's unsubstantiated allegations. The development should brings Trump's legal battle to an end.
However, Trump is expected to push forward with new litigation this week, and his attorney Rudy Giuliani says he expects five more lawsuits at the state level. Trump who has refused to concede defeat, even a month after poll watchers called the election in Biden's favour, appeared to be ignoring the news. While the President did not comment on the Electoral College votes, he has since taken to Twitter repeatedly to talk about how there had been foul play in the polls.
Whether Biden's message of unity will have any effect remains to be seen. Top Republicans have mostly continued to back Trump and his unsubstantiated claims of a rigged election and, even once Biden takes power, are unlikely to give him any of the traditional honeymoon period.
Biden faces a narrowly divided Senate - next month's runoff elections in Georgia will decide which party controls the chamber - and a thinned Democratic majority in the House as the GOP picked up seats even as Trump lost.
(With inputs from agencies)