US ELECTION: WITH APPARENT DEFEAT STARING TRUMP IN THE FACE, CAN THE US PRESIDENT STEAL POWER?
The results of the 2020 US elections has turned in favour of the Democratic candidate Joe Biden. At present, the Democrat has secured 284 electoral college votes which surpass the 270 threshold, which means the incumbent President of America Donald Trump would have to vacate the White House in 2021.
So what happens if Donald Trump does not want to vacate the White House? Are there legal moves he can make as the incumbent President to turn the tides in his favour?
Donald Trump already tried to stop his defeat at the polls by ordering election officers to “stop counting votes.” Fortunately, the American electoral institution is independent of such unconstitutional presidential directives so his Twitter tirades were ignored.
Donald Trump also tried to discredit the electoral system by making unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vote stealing. Unfortunately for the president, that move also failed as several US media organisations protected the sanctity of the State by taking time to highlight the untruths in the President’s speech while several stations yanked off the President’s broadcast citing misinformation.
Legally, courts have thrown out the President’s claim of electoral fraud for lack of evidence. But Donald Trump and his campaign team continue to insist on contesting Biden's win.
Donald Trump’s attempt at discrediting the voting system to hold on to power have not been futile. His numerous misinformation and inciting statements has led to pockets of protests with election officials fearing for their safety.
Following intelligence tip that armed groups were coming to launch Mayhem in at the vote-counting office in Philadelphia, security officials subdued and detained two armed men in front of the election centre at about 10 pm on Thursday.
Outside of unsubstantiated claims and Twitter rants, these are some legal ways President Trump can usurp Joe Biden’s victory and hold on to power:
Donald Trump can discredit the votes and force the legislature to declare himself President. Donald Trump can exploit the provision of Section 1 of Article Two of the US constitution on Contingent Election where the power to elect the President is vested on the United States House of Representatives should the Electoral College votes fail to produce a candidate who wins with an absolute majority of votes.
So far, Democrats have secured 215 seats in the Green Chambers as opposed to the Republicans 195 seats. So this route might not favour Trump.
Another way Trump can clinch on the Presidency is by revisiting a never before used and highly ambiguous Electoral Count Act of 1887.
This 133-year-old law states that a President must be chosen within 41 days after the Election day.
The US Presidential Election held on Tuesday, November 3, therefore, under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, a consensus candidate must be declared the winner by December 14.
According to the Law, whoever is ahead as at December 14 wins the Presidency. If Trump intensifies his narrative of Electoral fraud and keeps conjuring different lawsuits to delegitimize the InMail ballots until December 14, he can declare himself the winner.
The world is watching to see if the President of America would tow any of the above-listed lanes despite the apparent mayhem and possible loss of lives and discord these moves would cause America and its citizens.