Congratulatory messages are pouring in from leaders across the globe for US President-elect Joe Biden and US Vice- president-elect Kamala Harris.

Biden’s victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania put him over the threshold of the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to clinch the presidency, ending four days of nail-biting suspense and sending his supporters into the streets of major cities in celebration.

Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump in the presidential election.

Trump is yet to concede and has not spoken publicly since his defeat was announced. Biden was speaking after a bitter election campaign – promising to work to unify a deeply divided country.

“I will govern as an American president.  I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did. The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is a decision and if we decide not to cooperate then we decide to cooperate. I believe that this is part of the mandate given to us by the American people. They want us to cooperate in their interest and that is the choice I will make and I will call on Congress to make that choice with me.”

Kamala Harris will be the first female Vice President of the US and also the first female of colour to hold the position.

She called Biden to congratulate him on his election victory. She posted a video on her Twitter feed showing her, on a call with Biden, where she congratulated him on a hard-fought win against the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump.

Former US president Barack Obama has extended words of congratulations to Biden and Harris ‘historic and decisive victory’ in the US presidential election.

On his official Twitter account, Obama says, “I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden. I also couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next Vice President.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also congratulated Biden and Harris on their wins in the US presidential election.

On his official Twitter account, Ramaphosa says he looks forward to working with the two to strengthen ties between South Africa and the US.

African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson, Pule Mabe, says the party also welcomes their victory and says the world must rise to respect democracy and embrace the new administration.

Mabe says the governing party looks forward to cooperation with Biden on defeating the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have both reacted to the election results.

The EFF’s Godrich Gardee says although they note the election outcome, the bullying tactics of the US will continue while the IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa says they have confidence that the Biden administration will fulfill its campaign pledges.- Additional reporting SABC

Various reactions to the Democrats victory: