Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday night congratulated United States President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris after several media outlets predicted their victory in the closely-watched elections. Modi said that he looked forward to working with Biden again.
“Congratulations Joe Biden on your spectacular victory!” Modi tweeted. “As the VP [vice-president], your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable. I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights.”
The prime minister said that Harris’ victory made the Indian-American community immensely proud. “Heartiest congratulations Kamala Harris,” he said. “Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis [aunts], but also for all Indian-Americans. I am confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership.”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote a congratulatory letter to Harris. Gandhi told Harris that her success was a “triumph for Black Americans and Indian Americans, humanity, compassion and inclusiveness.”
Gandhi also expressed confidence that Harris would work to heal and unite a “bitterly divided nation”.
Leaders from across the world also congratulated Biden and Harris for their victory. “The Americans have chosen their President,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. “Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is considered an ally of incumbent US President Donald Trump, congratulated the Democrat leaders and said he looked forward to “working closely together [with them] on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security”.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke about working with Biden and Harris on cementing his country’s relationship with the US. “Congratulations, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” he tweeted. “Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she looked forward to future cooperation with Biden, according to Reuters. “Our transatlantic friendship is irreplaceable if we are to master the great challenges of our time.”
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also wished Biden and Harris. “Warm congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” he tweeted. “I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the Japan-US Alliance and ensure peace, freedom, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.”
Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, several news outlets projected on Saturday. Harris will be his vice president. She is the first woman as well as the first person of colour to occupy the post.
A candidate needed 270 electoral votes to win. Biden led the race since Tuesday, with the gap between him and Trump slowly widening over the last five days. On Saturday, the crucial state of Pennsylvania was called for him, putting him on track to win the elections with a total of 273 electoral votes.
Trump, meanwhile, refused to accept defeat and reiterated that the election was “far from over”. The Trump campaign has consistently claimed election fraud, with Trump even appearing to announce victory early Wednesday. This was before millions of mailed ballots were counted. Trump also filed lawsuits in some states to stop counting of mail-in ballots, but the cases were quashed.
A record number of Americans mailed in their votes this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the US harder than any other country in the world. Mail-in ballots are counted last in many states, including Georgia and Pennsylvania. Analysts had predicted Trump might appear to be ahead in the election before mail-in ballots were counted, since typically most postal ballots are for Democrats. This is what happened, and once Trump’s lead began to lessen as the mail-in ballots were counted, him and his campaign cried foul.