Congrats, Mr Biden, Mrs Harris; well fought, Mr Trump

Congrats, Mr Biden, Mrs Harris; well fought, Mr Trump

Thursday, November 26, 2020

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With Mr Joseph R Biden having been recognised as the apparent winner of the November 3, 2020 United States presidential elections, we can now express our full-throated congratulations to him and the vice-president-elect, Mrs Kamala Harris.

Although the mainstream media had declared Mr Biden the winner from November 7, after he achieved the requisite 270 Electoral College votes, and was leading in the popular vote, the world had to await the “ascertainment” of Mr Biden's win by the US General Services Administration (GSA).

That only came on Monday evening when GSA head, Ms Emily Murphy — satisfied that legal challenges to the results mounted by incumbent Mr Donald Trump were fizzling — gave the green light permitting administration agency officials to coordinate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.

It also came as an increasing number of Republicans were publicly acknowledging Mr Biden's victory, and with most of the major world capitals expressing congratulations on his win, while pledging to work with the new Administration that will be sworn in on January 20, 2021.

Mr Trump has vowed to continue his legal challenges during the lame duck period, and pundits have suggested he is laying the ground for a possible 2024 run for president, citing the almost 74 million votes he received in the elections, six million less than Mr Biden.

Mr Trump may also be congratulated for turning out the highest number of votes by a losing candidate, even though he will be among the dubious few one-term presidents. In the end, the novel coronavirus pandemic which ravaged the country and the economy was his principal undoing.

We note that Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness was among the first world leaders to extend congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris, sending his message on November 7, the day they were so declared.

The prime minister made much of the fact that the US will have its first woman and person of colour as vice-president in Mrs Harris, saying: “We are proud that she has Jamaican heritage. Her ascension to the role of VP is a monumental accomplishment for women all over the world and I salute her.”

The vice-president-elect's father is Mr Donald T Harris, a Jamaican out of Brown's Town, St Ann, and from whom she is apparently estranged after his divorce from her Indian mother in the United States when Kamala was a young child.

It is noteworthy that whomever would have won the elections, Jamaica remains heavily invested in the United States, which is our largest trading partner and home to the bulk of the Jamaican diaspora, making her a virtual second home to us.

In our provisional welcome to Mr Biden and Mrs Harris earlier in this space, we wished them a successful tenure, and acknowledged the excitement of Jamaicans over the election of Mrs Harris, with some people even expressing the hope that in her, the country has a friend in court.

We look forward to continued deepening of bilateral relations between our two countries.

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