Former US president George W Bush says the American people “can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear”.
He said in a statement following Joe Biden’s victory that “no matter how you voted, your vote counted”.
And he added that president Donald Trump had the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, with any unresolved issues to be “properly adjudicated”.
Mr Bush said now was the time when “we must come together for the sake of our families and neighbours, and for our nation and its future”.
He said he had spoken with Mr Biden and thanked the president-elect for what Mr Bush said was “the patriotic message” in his national address on Saturday night after being declared the election winner.
Mr Bush said in his statement that while he and Mr Biden had political differences, the former president said he knew the president-elect “to be good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country”.