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The elected US President Joe Biden wants to approach the supporters of the defeated incumbent Donald Trump and resolutely work to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
"I promise to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unite," said Biden on Saturday evening (local time) in his victory speech in his home in Wilmington, Delaware. He asked Trump's supporters to give him a chance to work together for a better America.
He was elected as a Democrat, but he will be the president of the whole country and "work just as hard for everyone who didn't vote for me," promised Biden (77). "It's time to put the harsh rhetoric aside," demanded Biden. "Let's give each other a chance," he said. "Let's let this dark era of demonization come to an end here and now," said Biden. His statements could be understood as a clear criticism of Trump's aggressive style - although Biden did not comment directly on the Republican. The Democrat Biden was declared the winner by the US media in the race for the White House on Saturday.
Biden promised that his government would restore the "soul of America" and make the United States a world-wide respected country again. He also announced that he would present an expert council on Monday to contain the corona pandemic. He will spare no effort in the fight against the virus. The "leading scientists and experts" would help him develop an "action plan" that could be implemented from the day he was inaugurated on January 20, Biden said. With the announcement in his victory speech, which otherwise remained rather general, Biden underlined the importance of the fight against the pandemic for his term in office.
The elected Vice President Kamala Harris spoke of a turning point in her victory speech. "When our democracy itself was on the ballot paper, the soul of America was at stake and the world was watching, you heralded a new day for America," said Harris. By choosing Biden, the Americans chose hope, unity, science and truth, Harris said. The 56-year-old would become the first woman and black woman to serve as vice-president. Harris said, "While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl who watches tonight sees that this is a land of opportunity."
Biden's success in the key state of Pennsylvania sealed Trump's election on Saturday after serving as president. Biden came across the 270-electoral mark necessary for success at the end of days of trembling. Trump, in turn, did not recognize Biden's victory, stating, "The simple fact is that this election is far from over."
Trump presents himself as a victim of systematic electoral fraud without providing any solid evidence. He sees himself as the legitimate winner of the election. With the help of his lawyers, Trump still wants to avert his defeat. However, the chances of success are extremely low. Unlike usual, Trump refrained from calling the winner and admitting his defeat.
In the US, it is rare for a president to be voted out of office after only one term. Most recently, this was the case with George Bush senior, who lost the 1992 election. It shouldn't be easy for Biden as president. "The election results show at every level that the country is still deeply and bitterly divided," said ex-President Obama, who campaigned for all Americans to support Biden. More than 70 million voters gave Trump their vote.
The news of Biden and Harris' election victory sparked cheers and horn concerts on the streets of New York, Washington, Philadelphia and other major cities in the country. On the north side of the White House, thousands celebrated Biden's election victory over the course of the day.
With Biden's breakthrough in Pennsylvania, an electoral thriller came to an end as the United States had never seen it in this form. The news channel CNN was the first to go on the air shortly before 5.30 p.m. German time with Biden's victory - four days after the election. Shortly thereafter, the AP news agency and the other broadcasters followed, including Trump's favorite channel Fox News.
In the USA it is common for the presidential election to be decided on the basis of forecasts from large media houses - usually on election night. The official results sometimes come much later. Because of the corona pandemic, millions of Americans had voted by letter this year, which is why the counting of the votes was protracted. The US president is only elected indirectly by the people. The votes of the voters decide on the composition of the electoral college, which then elects the president in December. A candidate needs a majority of the 538 electorate to win.
Biden wants to mend relations with allies around the world and lead the USA back into international agreements. For example, he announced a return of the USA to the Paris climate protection agreement. Unlike Trump, he also wants to continue working with the World Health Organization (WHO).
In Germany, Biden's victory brought relief. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wished Biden "luck and success from the bottom of my heart". "Our transatlantic friendship is irreplaceable if we are to face the great challenges of our time."
In the vote on Tuesday, the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and around a third of the seats in the Senate were also up for election. In governing, Biden can count on the majority of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. His party was initially unable to secure control in the second chamber of parliament, the Senate. Two runoff elections in Georgia in early January are expected to determine the majority for the next two years.
The counting of votes was still ongoing in several states. Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, and Alaska haven't seen a winner yet. The first three states are likely to go relatively safely to Biden, the latter to Trump.
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