US Democrat Bernie Sanders vows to fight on in the party’s nomination race

Hillary Clinton's rival candidate set on fighting all the way to become the Democratic Party's choice against Trump

A defiant Senator Bernie Sanders tells a California rally on June 7, 2016, that he will fight on for the Democratic nomination. John Locher / Associated Press
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SANTA MONICA, US // Hillary Clinton may have claimed victory to become the Democratic Party nominee for president but her fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders, is not giving up. He refused to concede defeat even after Ms Clinton declared herself the party’s flag-bearer for the US presidential race. on Tuesday.

“Next Tuesday we continue the fight in the last primary in Washington DC,” the senator from Vermont told supporters in California. “And then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia. ” The city, where America’s founding fathers declared independence from Britain in 1776, is also the venue for the Democratic convention where the party’s challenger to Republican Donald Trump for the White House.

Ms Clinton has surpassed the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination but Mr Sanders appeared to ignore the political writing on the wall, — although he did win Montana and North Dakota, two of the six states casting their votes on the last major date of the 2016 primary calendar. Sanders graciously acknowledged Clinton’s victories, drawing some boos from the crowd but he said, “Our fight is to transform this country and to understand that we are in this together. To understand that all of what we believe is what the majority of the American people believe.”

By any measure Sanders conducted an extraordinary grass roots campaign — something Ms Clinton acknowledged in her speech in California, paying tribute to his long career in public service and the passion he has ignited, especially in young people She would welcome any and all of Sanders’ supporters, she said.

But Sanders signalled he would want to have an important role not just for keeping the White House in Democratic hands, but in shaping the party’s policy platform.

“We understand that our mission is more than just defeating Donald Trump, it is transforming our country,” Sanders said.

The senator will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday to discuss “significant issues at stake in this election that matter most to America’s working families,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

* Agence France-Presse