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Trump raises possibility of delaying election, but that power rests in Congress

Donald Trump, who polls show is losing ground to and trailing Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden, said he would not trust the results of an election that included widespread mail voting.

FILE: US President Donald Trump. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday raised the idea of delaying the 3 November US elections, which the Constitution does not give him the power to do, words Democrats and some of his fellow Republicans immediately condemned and called an attempt to distract from devastating economic news.

Trump’s statement on Twitter comes as the United States (US) is living through the greatest crises of a generation - with more than 150,000 dead in the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide protests against police violence and racism, and on the morning the country reported its worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.

Trump, who polls show losing ground to and trailing Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden, also said he would not trust the results of an election that included widespread mail voting - a measure that many observers see as critical given the coronavirus pandemic. Without evidence, he claimed that mail voting would be rife with fraud.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

The US economy contracted by 32.9% in the second quarter, as the fast-spreading coronavirus sparked widespread lockdowns.

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