Global leaders express faith in the strength and resilience of American democracy
By Geeta Goindi
Washington, DC, January 8, 2021 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined a chorus of world leaders in condemning the invasion of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob violently protesting the results of the November 3 election, refusing to acknowledge President Donald Trump’s loss, and attempting to thwart a peaceful transfer of power as members of Congress gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The leader of the world’s largest democracy took to microblogging site Twitter to convey that he is “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”, Modi stated.
Thousands of rioters stormed the Capitol building Wednesday as lawmakers, staffers, press and media persons huddled inside fearful for their lives. It was a brazen attack on the citadel of US democracy that shocked and stunned the world!
British prime minister Boris Johnson was among the first world leaders to express outrage at the insurrection on Capitol Hill. “Disgraceful scenes in US Congress”, he tweeted. “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”.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau expressed consternation over the deadly violence on Capitol Hill. “Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbor”, he said on Twitter. “Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be”, he affirmed.
The attempted coup at the Capitol, an event without precedent in modern American history, claimed the lives of five people: a police officer; a Maryland woman who was fatally shot by a US Capitol Police employee; and three others who suffered from separate medical emergencies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed the outgoing American leader for inciting the mob that caused the mayhem in Washington. “These pictures made me angry and sad”, she said in an online address the day after rioters stormed the Capitol. “I regret very much that President Trump since November has not conceded his defeat, and not yesterday either. He stoked uncertainties about the election outcome and that created an atmosphere that made the events of last night possible”.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez joined global leaders on Twitter in voicing concern about the insurgency by Trump supporters. “I am following with concern the news that are coming from Capitol Hill in Washington”, he said. “I trust in the strength of America’s democracy. The new presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people”.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte stated, “I am following what is happening in #Washington with great concern. Violence is incompatible with the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms. I am confident in the strength and robustness of the institutions of the United States”.
Echoing the shock and disbelief felt by her counterparts around the world, Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg underscored, “Unbelievable scenes from Washington, DC. This is a totally unacceptable attack on democracy. A heavy responsibility now rests on President Trump to put a stop to this”.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, tweeted, “The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in the US on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy”, she said without naming Trump or his loyalists.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison lamented, “Very distressing scenes at the US Congress. 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 said.
Without mincing any words, his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull blasted Trump in a pinned tweet. “Today’s mob violence at the Capitol is the culmination of Trump’s sustained assault on American democracy”, he said. “The President should call on the mob he incited to disperse and go home. And Trump’s supporters in the GOP and the media should reflect on what they have enabled”.
New Zealand’s popular leader Jacinda Ardern stated, “Like so many others, I’ve been watching what’s happening in the United States. I share the sentiment of friends in the US – what is happening is wrong”.
The prime minister noted, “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. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail”, she affirmed.
US lawmakers resumed the unfinished business of certifying the Electoral College results, a largely ceremonial process, once the Capitol building was secure. In the early hours of Thursday morning, Congress tallied the electoral votes: 306 votes for President-elect Joe Biden and 232 votes for President Trump, debunking the myth of a close call.
Biden will be sworn-in as the 46th president of the United States and Kamala Devi Harris will take the oath of office for vice president on January 20.
“The US Congress ratifies the victory of @JoeBiden after a fateful day”, noted prime minister Sanchez. “Yesterday’s attack on Capitol Hill has only succeeded in reaffirming the principles we share. Spain will work with the United States for a more just world and the triumph of democracy over extremism”, he said.