Thursday, December 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bush emerges winner
SC reverses recount order
From Vasantha Arora

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 — A small conservative majority asserted itself in the fractured US Supreme Court on last Tuesday night, muzzling Democratic Al Gore’s ballot-recount plea and virtually installing his Republican rival George W. Bush as the nation’s 43rd President.

After two days of frantic efforts to patch up their differences, seven of the Court’s nine judges agreed that there were constitutional problems with the recount. Only five, a bare majority that prevailed, held that there was not enough time to conduct a new vote recount.

“Because it is evident that any recount seeking to meet the December 12, date will be unconstitutional, we reverse the judgement of the Supreme Court of Florida ordering the recount to proceed,” the U.S. Supreme Court said in its majority opinion, which was joined by seven of the nine judges but not signed. That marked Gore’s defeat.

The majority highlighted the sanctity of December 12, the date for the states’ to certify their presidential electors, although a firmer deadline is December 18, when the Electoral College ballots are cast to elect a new president.

The nine-member panel sent the case back to the Florida Supreme Court for further consideration, but hedged its ruling with so many limitations, hardly leaving any remedy for Gore to seek the ballot recount, the very basis of his claim to the presidency.

According to an AFP report Vice-President Al Gore has ordered officials running the effort to recount votes in Florida to “suspend” their activities, campaign chairman Wiliam Daley said in a statement today.

An AP report said Al Gore, his legal fight lost, had decided to drop out of the fiercely contested presidential race with Bush. — IANS

Bush is President-Elect: GSA

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (PTI) — The first recognition that Mr George W. Bush is now the President-Elect came from the General Services Administration(GSA), which provides essential secretarial services that make the government run.

Mr Bush will be declared President subject to formal election on December 18 by the electoral college and by Congress on January 5.

As soon as the Supreme Court rendered its verdict in favour of Texas Governor George W. Bush and against Vice-President Al Gore, GSA, spokeswoman Beth Newburger, said: ‘‘I think that we have seen something happen that is a major marker in this process.’’

GSA chief Dave Berram, said Ms Newburger, is expected to make a statement today releasing the office space — 90,000 square feet of space, accommodation for 540 employees and telephone lines and other communications facilities —and funds to Mr Bush. Back


Al Gore calls off recount efforts

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) — Democrat Al Gore, stung by adevastating US Supreme Court defeat, has decided to end his presidential run against Republican George W. Bush, democratic sources said today.

They said the Vice-President will announce his decision in a prime-time address to the nation, on Thursday.

Sources said Mr Gore was writing his own speech and would call for a healing of the nation following the highly divisive and protracted White House race.

Mr Bush will take the helm of a divided nation. The Democrats and Republicans are tied 50-50 in the Senate, leaving presumptive Vice-President Dick Cheney with the deciding vote. The Republicans have a wafer-thin majority of less than 10 votes in the 435-member House of Representatives.

Election votes

Here is a table showing that while Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote in the disputed November 7 election, Republican George W. Bush won the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to win White House:

Popular votes                Electoral votes

Gore 50,148,801                 267

Bush 49,790,449                 271*

*with Florida’s 25 Electoral College votes added in.



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