Trump pledges ‘orderly transition’ hours after US Capitol siege

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Washington: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next US president and vice-president, Congress certified early on Thursday, hours after a stunned world saw unprecedented chaos and deadly violence when thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building and sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power.

The Electoral College votes were approved after both, the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected objections raised by the Republicans to the votes in the states of Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Biden and Harris received 306 electoral votes, while Trump and Pence got 232. The counting of Vermont’s three electoral votes put Biden and Harris over the 270-threshold needed to win the presidency.

The 78-year-old Democratic leader and his 56-year-old Indian-origin deputy will be inaugurated on January 20.

In the violence on Wednesday, four people died, including one woman, who was shot by a police officer, amid protests and rioting on Capitol Hill that resulted in dozens of demonstrators being arrested, police said.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee called the rioting by pro-Trump demonstrators “shameful” during a news conference.

One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the rioting. Police said three other people – a woman and two men – died after apparently suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol grounds.

In a statement released just after the certification was finalised, Trump at long last acknowledged his election loss. He said that even though he disagrees with the outcome, “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

“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!”

The normally procedural session of Congress was disrupted on Wednesday when supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building. The session resumed and continued through the night after the building was cleared.