Muawiyah objected to the election of Ali as the Caliph. Ali refused the objection in the following terms: "I was elected by the same electorate which had elected my three predecessors, namely: Abu Bakr, Umar, and Othman. After the election had taken place, and the people had declared allegiance to the newly elected Caliph, neither those who were present, nor those who were absent have the right to object to the election. The electorate consists of the Muhajirin and the Ansars only, and if this electorate has elected the Caliph, the election is final and is binding on the entire Ummah. In view of this legal position if anybody objects to such election, and repudiates the decision of the competent electorate, he is a rebel, and has to be treated as such. O Muawiyah, I solemnly declare that if you take a fair view of the matter without any prejudice or bias, you will realize that I am not even remotely connected with the murder of Othman. It is quite another matter that you are levying this accusation against me only to promote your ulterior purpose".