Doug Jones certified winner of Alabama Senate race despite last-minute challenge | News | DW | 28.12.2017
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Doug Jones certified winner of Alabama Senate race despite last-minute challenge

Democrat Doug Jones has been officially certified winner of the Alabama Senate race. Republican Roy Moore earlier filed a legal challenge alleging fraud.

Democrat Doug Jones on Thursday has officially been declared the winner of the US Senate election in Alabama. 

Republican Roy Moore late on Wednesday made a last-minute bid to block the official ratification of his opponent's victory in a US Senate election, submitting a legal complaint alleging potential voter fraud.

However, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill on Thursday certified the election results and dismissed claims of voter fraud. 

Moore narrowly lost the December 12 ballot to Democratic rival Jones in an election overshadowed by damaging accusations of sexual misconduct leveled at the Republican candidate.

Jones' victory makes him the first Democrat in 25 years to win a Senate seat in Alabama, a conservative bastion.

The Democratic victory also reduced the current Republican majority in the Senate to just 51 of the 100 seats.

Read more: Trump's defeat is Alabama's victory

Trump support

Moore, 70, lost the election even after receiving vigorous support from President Donald Trump, who was widely criticized for continuing to endorse a candidate facing such sexual related allegations that are still unproven. The accusations relate to alleged sexual assault or harassment of teenage girls when Moore was in his 30s, including one case involving a minor.

Trump had urged him to concede defeat following his loss.

 Roy Moore on a horse (Reuters/C. Allegri)

Moore is vigorously opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion

In a statement on Wednesday, Moore said that his complaint contained an affidavit from him that he had successfully passed a lie-detector test that cleared him of any suspicion of misconduct.

Otherwise, the complaint cited "irregularities in 20 precincts" of Alabama's Jefferson County which it said were "enough to reverse the outcome of the election."

Moore, a Christian conservative, has raised eyebrows in some quarters with remarks suggesting that the September 11 attacks might have been caused by a lack of faith in God and that Muslims should be barred from holding office. He was set for an easy victory in the elections until the allegations by several women were reported, at first by The Washington Post.

cw,tj/jil (Reuters, AFP)

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