US President Donald Trump is being urged to concede electoral defeat by a group of former world leaders who fear his assertions of election fraud convey “a lack of respect” for the integrity of US institutions.
The group – known as “The Elders” – said on Thursday (local time) in a statement that Mr Trump “should follow the example set by his predecessors and declare himself willing to accept the verdict cast” by voters.
Former Irish president Mary Robinson chairs The Elders and says it was “shocking to have to raise concerns about US democratic processes” as the group has done in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
The group called on Republican leaders “to act responsibly in the interests of their country by supporting a smooth transition” to Democrat Joe Biden’s presidency.
Major US media networks called the presidential election for Mr Biden last Saturday.
The clamour comes as a coalition of leading federal and state election officials, along with top voting equipment manufacturers, emphatically stated that there was “no evidence” that any voting system was compromised or votes lost during the recent general election.
Mr Trump has insisted he is the victim of widespread fraud, despite not producing any evidence, as he refuses to concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
‘Theatrics, not really lawsuits’: Pennsylvania challenge disputed
Officials in the battleground state of Pennsylvania have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by US President Donald Trump’s campaign seeking to prevent the state certifying its election results.
In a court filing in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, lawyers for the local secretary of state and seven counties said on Thursday the case should be tossed.
Mr Biden won the majority of the vote in all seven Pennsylvania counties cited in the lawsuit and is up more than 53,000 votes with an estimated 97 per cent of ballots counted.
Mr Trump’s campaign says the “Democrat-majority counties” did not provide partisan election observers an opportunity to assess the processing of mail-in ballots.
It also alleged observers were placed too far from the tabulation of votes and mail-in voters whose ballots were deficient were allowed to cast provisional ballots in what they say was a flouting of state electoral rules.
Mr Biden clinched the election on Saturday after media networks and Edison Research called him as winner of Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
Instead of conceding, Mr Trump’s campaign has filed a string of long-shot lawsuits in several battleground states.
Legal experts say the lawsuits have little chance of changing the outcome of the election. A senior Biden legal adviser has dismissed the litigation as “theatrics, not really lawsuits”.
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi called on Republicans “stop the circus and get to work” on COVID while Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer said it was time they accepted reality.
Adding to the pressure on Mr Trump is the sight of Republicans breaking ranks, saying that president-elect Mr Biden is entitled to intelligence briefings — even if the party is not ready to recognise the Democrat as the winner of the presidential election.
A growing number of Republican senators, including John Cornyn, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, have urged Mr Trump’s administration to allow Mr Biden access to presidential daily intelligence briefings.
Pennsylvania is due to certify the election results on November 23.