Ex-Republican US president George W. Bush to attend Biden's inauguration in signal of unity

Bush, who returned to Texas after his second term ended, has largely stayed out of the political fray. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - George W. Bush, the only living Republican former president, will attend the inauguration of Joe Biden later this month, a spokesman said on Tuesday night (Jan 5).

Mr Bush, who left office in 2009, will be accompanied by his wife, Laura, according to his chief of staff, Mr Freddy Ford.

The couple had gone to the inaugurations of Mr Bush's successors, Mr Barack Obama and Mr Donald Trump. It remains unclear whether Mr Trump, who continues to insist, without evidence, that widespread fraud denied him re-election, will appear at the event on Jan 20.

"I believe this will be the eighth inauguration they've had the privilege of attending - President Trump's being the most recent - and witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old," Mr Ford said in a statement.

Mr Bush, who returned to Texas after his second term ended, largely stayed out of the political fray that marked the Obama and Biden administration. His brother Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, was defeated by Mr Trump in the 2016 Republican primary contest. Their late father, Mr George H.W. Bush, was the 41st president.

The other remaining former presidents are Mr Jimmy Carter, Mr Bill Clinton and Mr Obama. All are Democrats.

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