■ Ben Carson, renowned African-American neurosurgeon appointed to transition committee
By ENYERIBE EJIOGU
Following his electoral upset against Mrs. Hillary Clinton, who pundits predicted would win the 2016 US presidential election held on Tuesday, billionaire business man and candidate of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, hit the ground running on Thursday, a day after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House and also visiting the Capitol Hill to meet with the leadership of both the US Senate and the House of Representatives.
Forebearing an electoral college upset, Trump would be inaugurated on Friday, January 20, 2017. He has appointed a transition committee, which is headed by the Vice President-Elect and Indiana Governor Mike Pence as chairman. The committee includes the following distinguished personalities as vice chairmen: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.
The appointment of renowned African American neurosurgeon is very significant and earliest indication that Trump would give due attention to matters affecting Africans in the lifetime of his administration. Carson contested in the primaries for the Republican Party ticket before dropping later in the process.
Although the machinery for the inauguration of Trump as the 45th president of the United States has been set in motion, there is the lingering issue of what could happen when members of the Electoral College meet on Monday, December 19, 2016 in their respective states to cast their votes for President and Vice President of the United States. Outcome of the Electoral College ballot could alter everything and create a landmark in the history of US presidential elections if the electors choose to vote for Hillary Clinton who won more of the popular votes (59.6 million votes (representing 47.66%) as against Trump who got 59.4 million (47.5%).
On the election day, electors were chosen at state level and soon as results were known, the each state prepard seven original “Certificates of Ascertainment” of the electors chosen, and sent one original along with two certified copies to the Archivist of the United States at the Office of the Federal Register.
On December 19, when they gather at the Electoral College, the electors would record their votes on six “Certificates of Vote,” which are paired with the six remaining original “Certificates of Ascertainment.” The electors then sign, seal and certify the packages of electoral votes and immediately send them to the Federal and State listed officials listed and must be received by them on before December 28, 2016. Finally on January 6, 2017, members of the US Congress gather to count the electoral votes in Congress.
Trump’s victory in the election is the fifth time in U.S. history, and the second time this century, that a presidential candidate has won the White House while (apparently) losing the popular vote. Trump won at least 279 electoral votes (306 if you include Arizona and Michigan, where he was leading as of Wednesday afternoon) to Hillary Clinton’s 228 (232 including New Hampshire, where she was ahead by a hair).
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