Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

First world leader congratulates Joe Biden despite no election result

The Prime Minister of Fiji has become the first world leader to send his congratulations to Joe Biden – despite the US election race not being called yet.

Frank Bainimarama took to Twitter on Saturday morning to say he looked forward to working with the Democrat on the global economy and the climate emergency..

Biden is widely believed to be closing in on the White House, but the fate of the presidency still hangs in the balance with no winner declared.

The Associated Press claims Biden has got a total of 264 electoral college votes and puts Trump on 214, with 270 needed to win the race.

Other outlets have not called Arizona for Biden, putting the Democrat candidate on 253.

Mr Bainimarama wrote: Congratulations, @JoeBiden. Together, we have a planet to save from a #ClimateEmergency and a global economy to build back better from #COVID19.

‘Now, more than ever, we need the USA at the helm of these multilateral efforts (and back in the #ParisAgreement — ASAP!)’

The prime minister was criticised on social media for not waiting for an official declaration.

One person wrote: ‘This is an unprofessional tweet and a disgrace to the people of Fiji….can’t you wait for the electoral college to declare the winner before the congratulatory tweet.’

Another wrote: ‘Why are u concluding that yet? As the head of state, better wait for an official declaration’.

Biden claimed he is on course to ‘win the race’ to the White House, but stopped short of officially declaring victory in a speech last night.

Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, just before 11pm on Friday local time, the former vice-president said that although he did not have a final declaration, ‘the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story’.

He said: ‘We’re going to win this race, just look at what has happened since yesterday – 24 hours (ago), we were behind in Georgia, now we’re ahead, and we’re going to win that state. 24 hours ago, we were behind in Pennsylvania and we are going to win Pennsylvania. Now we’re ahead, we’re winning in Arizona, winning in Nevada, in fact our lead just doubled in Nevada. 

‘We’re on track to 300 Electoral College votes, and look at the national numbers. We’re going to win this race with a clear majority with a nation behind us.’

Mr Bainimarama’s tweet is sure to anger Donald Trump who continues to claim the election has been rigged, despite having no evidence.

The US leader wrote on Twitter on Saturday: ‘Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!’

He added: ‘I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by. 

‘Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!

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