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Trump pressures Republicans to block Biden’s win

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Donald Trump has called out Republicans who plan to support certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the US election as members of a “surrender caucus”, deepening the intraparty split over the looming transfer of power in Washington.

The US President, in a series of tweets on Monday morning, pressured lawmakers from his own party to join his attempt to overturn the results of the November election, less than three weeks before Biden’s inauguration as president.

Trump, according to Financial Times, is facing a backlash from across the political spectrum over a call he made during the weekend to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, urging him to “find” extra votes to reverse Mr Biden’s win in the southern state.

A joint session of Congress is expected on Wednesday to certify Biden’s electoral college victory.

Twelve Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, have said they will object to Biden’s win based on unfounded allegations of voter fraud, although many Republicans are expected to accept the election result — triggering Trump’s wrath.

“The ‘Surrender Caucus’ within the Republican party will go down in infamy as weak and ineffective ‘guardians’ of our Nation, who were willing to accept the certification of fraudulent presidential numbers!” Trump wrote.

Earlier in the day, Trump had singled out Tom Cotton — a reliable ally of the president on Capitol Hill — for criticism after the senator from Arkansas said he would not join other Republican objectors to Biden’s win.

“@SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”, the president wrote.

In a statement on Monday, Rob Portman, the Republican senator from Ohio, defied Trump’s wishes and said he would not object to Biden’s certification.

“The Constitution created a system for electing the President through the Electoral College that ensures the people and the states hold the power, not Congress. I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters,” he said.

Trump’s increasingly frantic efforts to avoid leaving the White House on January 20 have created a febrile atmosphere in Washington and stoked new fears over the prospects for a smooth transition on inauguration day.

They have also prompted warnings from business that some Republicans were threatening democracy by attempting to oppose certifying the presidential election results.

“Efforts by some members of Congress to disregard certified election results . . . undermines our democracy and the rule of law and will only result in further division,” said Tom Donohue, chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby.

Almost 200 business leaders signed a separate statement from the Partnership for New York City, warning that attempts to thwart certification of the results “run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy” and would distract from responding to the country’s health and economic crises.

Democrats said they were disturbed by Mr Trump’s approach. At a rally ahead of two pivotal Senate run-off races in Georgia on Tuesday, Kamala Harris, the incoming vice-president, attacked Trump for his call to Raffensperger.

“It was certainly the voice of desperation, most certainly that. And it was a bald, bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States,” she said on Sunday night.

Ted Lieu, a Democratic lawmaker from California, and Kathleen Rice, a Democratic lawmaker from New York, on Monday asked the FBI to open a criminal investigation into Trump’s call for “solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes”.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump’s most loyal backers on Capitol Hill have stuck by him. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican senator from Tennessee and one of the upper-chamber lawmakers intending to object to the certification of Biden’s victory, told Fox News on Monday that the president’s call to Raffensperger searching for votes was “not a helpful call”.

But she reaffirmed the plan to object to Biden’s victory and establish a commission to report back on fraud claims within 10 days.

“When there are allegations of fraud and when there’s all this conversation that is taking place around the election results, one of the things that we should do is define the problem and then offer an action item that will get us to a solution,” she said. “And that’s exactly what we are doing.”

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PDP governors insist on e-transmission of election results

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The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum has insisted on electronic transmission of election results, saying it will guarantee free and fair poll.
The Senate had passed The Electoral Act Amendment Bill to empower the Nigerian Communications Commission to determine the electronic transmission of election results, while the House of Representatives adopted the use of technology “where practicable”.
Addressing journalists in Bauchi after the PDP governors met on Monday, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said the electronic transmission of election results must be part of the country’s laws.
“On the electoral act amendment bill, the governors identified the need for a free, fair and credible elections in the country and called on the national assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence,” Tambuwal said.
The governor urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, NCC, and Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), among other government agencies, to deploy the necessary infrastructure that would facilitate the electronic transmission of election results.
“The governors noted that the method was prone to massive rigging and such other electoral malpractices as evidenced in the 2018 APC primary elections. Political parties should be allowed to decide their method of conduct of primaries as such would promote internal democracy,” he said.
The governors also called on Nigerians “to use the opportunity of the PDP e-registration exercise which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while PDP members should update their membership electronically”.

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PDP governors meet today on insecurity, e-transmission of poll results

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Official positions and suggestions by the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party on insecurity situation in the country and electronic transmission of election results by the electoral body are expected to be made known today Monday July 26 after their meeting in Bauchi.
The party announced in a statement by the Director-General of the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF), Cyril Maduabum, on Sunday.
Maduabum said that PDP governors would, at the meeting, examine and deliberate on the current state of the nation, and the state of their respective states.
He said the health of Nigeria’s democracy, including the electoral act amendment, constitution alteration bills, pending before the national assembly, would also feature in discussions at the meeting.
Maduabum said the meeting would continue to interrogate the federal government’s response to insecurity that was still pervading the country and proffer workable solutions.
He said that the governors would continue to benchmark and exchange information and ideas on best practices on various aspects of governance in their respective states, which had become major beacons of light, delivering substantial democracy benefits through projects and policies impacting on the lives of Nigerians.
“The Governors will also receive Reports of some of the committees working on various aspects of party repositioning, including the e- Registration programme of the Party.”
Maduabum said that Bala Mohammed, Bauchi state governor, would be the chief host, while Aminu Tambuwal, forum chairman, would preside over the meeting.

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APC clears 17 of 20 Ogun LGA poll

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Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission has declared chairmanship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winners in 17 out of the 20 local government areas in Saturday’s council poll.
Among the winners are veteran journalists and publishers: Wale Adedayo (polled 9,660, Ijebu East); Babatunde Emilola – Gazal ( polled 6,178, Ijebu – Ode); Odulate Olashile (polled 20,925 Sagamu); Shuab Ladejobi (polled 14,985 Odogbolu) and Odusanya Bolaji (polled 25,701 Ijebu-North).

Results from the remaining three LGAs – Ado/Odo/Ota, Ifo and Abeokuta- were being expected and may be declared from 1:30pm on Sunday.
About 12 political parties, including Labour Party(LP); New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) participated in the exercise.
But a faction of PDP pulled out at the eleventh hour from the contest.
Chairman of OGSIEC, Babatunde Osibodu, who announced the results in batches, described the election as one of the most peaceful, credible and fair in Ogun State.

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