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NATIONAL: World leaders condemn ‘assault on US democracy’

LEADERS and governments from around the world have expressed shock and outrage at assault on democracy in the United States in which mob — supporters of President Donald Trump — stormed the Capitol in Washington, destroying parts of the building and invading the chambers of both the House of Representatives and and the Senate.

The violence happened as the two arms of parliament were in joint session to count the electoral votes that would lead to the certification of the election of Joe Biden and his vice, Kamala Harris. Vice President Mike Pence who had been presiding over the joint session and the Senators and Reps had to be temporarily evacuated to safety.

The sessions however returned hours after the insurgency had been tamed by combined forces of security operatives. The mayor of Washington DC also declared curfew from 6pm to 6am, which helped to calm the situation.

The hundreds of people were instigated by statements and tweets by President Trump, who has refused to accept defeat in the November 3 elections. Trump had earlier yesterday urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and “make your voice heard.” This is believed to have incensed the mob.

Even when he had opportunity to address the mob, Trump did not condemn the action of his supporters, or accept his defeat.

The president, in a one-minute video posted on Twitter, began by sympathising with the rioters.

“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt,” Trump said.

“We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”

“But you have to go home now, we have to have peace,” he added. “We have to have peace. We have to have law and order we have to respect our great people in law and order.”

The video was later locked by twitter safety for containing potential danger to incite violence.



European Union

The EU’s foreign policy chief condemned an “assault on US democracy”.

“In the eyes of the world, American democracy tonight appears under siege,” Josep Borrell tweeted.

Calling the action an “assault on US democracy, its institutions and the rule of law”, he added: “This is not America. The election results of 3 November must be fully respected.”


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Twitter condemned the “disgraceful scenes in US Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power”.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added in his own tweet: “The US rightly takes great pride in its democracy, and there can be no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power.”


French leader Emmanuel Macron said: “We will not give in to the violence of a few who want to question” democracy.

In a video posted on his official Twitter account, he added: “What happened today in Washington is not American”.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also condemned “a serious attack on democracy”.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Trump supporters to “stop trampling on democracy”.

“Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of American voters and stop trampling on democracy,” Maas tweeted.

“The enemies of democracy will be pleased to see these incredible images from Washington DC,” he added. “Inflammatory words turn into violent actions.”

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who is also the vice chancellor, likewise condemned the “disturbing images” from Washington.


Taoiseach Micheál Martin tweeted his condemnation thus:

“The Irish people have a deep connection with the United States of America, built up over many generations. I know that many, like me, will be watching the scenes unfolding in Washington DC with great concern and dismay,” Martin said.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that the scenes at the US Capitol were an “attack on democracy”.

“Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour,” he said.


Australian PM Scott Morrison condemned the “very distressing scenes” in the US.

“We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition,” he tweeted.

New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern tweeted: “Democracy – the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob.”

The prime minister added her country’s thoughts were with everyone “devastated” by today’s events, adding: “what is happening is wrong”.


“Shocking scenes in Washington, DC,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg tweeted. “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

The Netherlands

“Horrible images from Washington DC. Dear @realDonaldTrump, recognise @JoeBiden as the next president today,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter.

The plain-speaking Rutte once during a visit to the White House in 2018 interrupted Trump with a loud “no” when Trump made an assertion about EU-US trade.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Trump ally who has heaped praise on the outgoing US president in the past, said he was “distressed to see news about rioting and violence” in Washington.

“Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests,” the Hindu nationalist leader tweeted.


“Extremely troubled by the violence and horrible events taking place in Washington DC. American democracy is resilient, deeply rooted and will overcome this crisis,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a tweet.


“We are following with concern the internal developments happening in the US,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We call on all parties in the US to maintain restrain and prudence. We believe the US will overcome this internal political crisis in a mature manner.”


“This is an unacceptable assault on democracy. A peaceful and orderly transfer of power must be ensured,” said Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Twitter.

Czech Republic

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said in a tweet: “The looting and violence at the US Senate are not a good example for countries where democracy is fighting hard for a place in the sun. Given the emotions sparked by the US presidential election, we could expect today’s session to be far from ordinary. Where were the police and the Senate bodyguards…?”


“Extremism, violence, polarization and violence is never the way forward. Terrible pictures from Washington. May democracy be brought back to working again,” Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Facebook.


Spanish president Pedro Sanchez tweeted he was following events in Washington with “concern”.

“I trust in the strength of America’s democracy. The new Presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people.”


Slovenia’s right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who backed Trump and who has yet to congratulate Biden on his victory, tweeted: “All should be very troubled by the violence taking place in Washington D.C.”

“We hope American democracy is resilient, deeply rooted and will overcome this crisis. Democracy presupposes peaceful protest, but violence and death threats -from Left or Right- are ALWAYS wrong.”


The prime minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama – who lead a coup in 2006 and was accused of assaulting an opposition lawmaker in 2019 – added his condemnation.

“The violent scenes we saw in Washington today are an affront to democracies around the globe. True and genuine democracy is a precious treasure that no nation should ever take for granted,” he tweeted.

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