US election 2016: What happens if Trump refuses to accept defeat?

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"I'll keep you in suspense," he said when asked, in the final TV debate against Democrat rival Hillary Clinton, whether he would accept the result.
Pressed for a response by moderator Chris Wallace, Mr Trump deflected again, saying: "I will tell you at the time."

His comments were supported by his campaign team, but they go against a long and important tradition in US politics that the loser recognises the result and congratulates his or her rival.

Mr Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and his adviser, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said the candidate's stance was not unprecedented.
Mr Giuliani said that while the peaceful transfer of power was important, so too was the "accuracy of the election". He said that if the result was close, the campaign would not accept it.

He compared the situation to the contested result in 2000, when George W Bush beat Al Gore. "Al Gore didn't accept it, did he? He went to court over it," he said.

The contest between Mr Gore, a Democrat, and Republican candidate George W Bush in 2000 was one of the closest contests in the nation's history.

The result hinged on the state of Florida, where a narrow margin of victory led to numerous lawsuits and weeks of legal battles, triggering a recount.

The argument reached the US Supreme Court, which put a stop to the recount. The contested votes were eventually awarded to Mr Bush, granting him victory.
Mr Gore, who won the national popular vote by a margin of more than 500,000 but narrowly lost in Florida, finally conceded defeat on 13 December 2000.

"Tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession," he said.

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