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Hours after hundreds of US President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, Trump on Thursday finally conceded and pledged an "orderly transition" of power to President-elect Joe Biden on 20 January.

Trump released a statement finally conceding that he will leave office in two weeks: "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th." He continued, "I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

Trump’s statement came as staff resign and as congressional allies have abandoned him in the aftermath of a mob of his supporters laying siege to the Capitol on Wednesday.

Trump had repeated his pledge that he would never concede at a rally earlier Wednesday.

Trump’s account is currently locked by Twitter.

Trump has spent the last two months refusing to concede the election and making baseless allegations of mass voter fraud that have been rejected by dozens of courts and Republican officials, including his former attorney general.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the formal session that ended early Thursday morning tallying the electoral college vote.

Trump on Wednesday had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest lawmakers’ actions, expressed empathy for the mob, which violently forced its way inside, clashed with police and forced lawmakers into hiding.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long," Trump wrote in a message that was later deleted by Twitter. He added, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are scheduled to be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the country on January 20. The inauguration is going to be a low-key affair given the COVID-19 pandemic.

The formal certification by the Joint Session came in the wee hours of Thursday. The Joint Session which resumed its meeting late Wednesday night after it was disrupted by hundreds of supporters of Trump who violently stormed the Capitol Hill.

The counting of Electoral College votes and its subsequent certification came after an ugly episode of violence inside the US Capitol, resulting in four deaths, wherein Capitol Hill was brought under a lockdown, with lawmakers being taken to safe places, shots were fired inside the Congress and tear gas was used.


Biden, a Democrat, described the riots in the US Capitol as an "unprecedented assault" on American democracy, and has his task cut out to spend the next four years on his administration to heal and unite a deeply polarised country after the fiercely-fought election.

Presidential elections were held on November 3. Biden and Harris won a record number of popular votes, more than 80 millions and earned as many as 306 Electoral College votes.

Credit:livemint.com

 

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