President-elect Joe Biden has finally been recognised by the General Services Administrator as the “apparent winner” of the November 3 election, allowing the formal transition process to begin.
The Associated Press quoted GSA administrator Emily Murphy as saying “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results” were part of her decision.
Following the development, incumbent President Donald Trump, who has for weeks tested the boundaries of American democracies, came close to conceding defeat. He tweeted he had “recommended” that initial protocols begin. He, however, added he would continue to challenge the poll results in court.
He tweeted: “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”
Murphy’s announcement came after Michigan certified Biden’s victory on Monday in the battleground state. Also, a Pennsylvania federal judge tossed out a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign seeking to prevent certification in that state.
The move will help Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to work with government officials on a number of issues pertaining to the pandemic, national security and economy.
Biden-Harris transition executive director Yohannes Abraham in a statement said: “This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies.” He added the team will meet federal officials to discuss “the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”
Trump appointee Murphy had earlier faced criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner, thereby preventing Biden’s team from working with career agency officials on plans for his administration.
The delay denied the Democrat access to highly classified national security briefings and hindered his team’s ability to begin drawing up its own plans to respond to the raging coronavirus pandemic.