Former Republican US president George W Bush has said that the American people can have confidence that the presidential election was "fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear".
Bush, however, also said that outgoing President Donald Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, with any unresolved issues to be "properly adjudicated." In a statement after speaking to President-elect Joe Biden over phone, Bush said he extended his warm congratulations to Biden and thanked him for "the patriotic message" in his national address after being declared the election winner.
Bush, who was the US president from 2001 to early 2009, said that while he and the Democrat leader have political differences, he knows Biden "to be good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country." "The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can," he said.
Bush in his statement also congratulated Trump and his supporters on a hard-fought campaign.
"He earned the votes of more than 70 million Americans - an extraordinary political achievement. They have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government," he said.
"The fact that so many of our fellow citizens participated in this election is a positive sign of the health of America's democracy and a reminder to the world of its strength," he said.
"No matter how you voted, your vote counted," he said.
"There is no problem that will not yield to the gathered will of a free people," Bush said.