Capitol violence: A dangerous attempt to undermine democracy in the USA

07/01/2021

Agnes Jongerius at a PES Social Europe Network meeting

January 6, 2021, Washington DC, USA: A protestor holds a MAGA hat and Trump flag on the President Ford statue inside the Capitol rotunda. Pro-Trump mobs stormed the US Capitol building in a stunning attempt to stop the official counting of electoral votes confirming the presidential election of Joe Biden. Photo: Miguel Juarez Lugo / Belga.

The Party of European Socialists is deeply shocked and concerned by the violence at the Capitol in Washington yesterday – the latest consequence of President Trump’s continued attacks on democracy in the USA.

We commend Congress for resuming quickly following the attack to uphold the result of November’s election and certify the electoral college victory of president-elect Joe Biden.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Yesterday was supposed to be a symbolic day for American democracy, a day when the will of the people was recognised by Congress. But instead, yesterday epitomised president Trump’s brand of politics. It showed the hatred and division he has created over the last four years.

“This is a lesson that we can never underestimate or ignore populists and nationalists. To see the intruders – openly encouraged by Trump - break into Congress to try and subvert democracy is deeply worrying. The Rule of Law must be defended, the democratic will of the people must prevail.

“Trump has two weeks left in office. This remains an uncertain time. The eyes of the world are on the USA. President-elect Joe Biden has a huge task ahead of him, but I have hope that he will be able to unite the country, easing the divisions which have been created over the past four years.”

Following the certification by Congress of the victory of president-elect Joe Biden, it is vital that a peaceful transition of power takes place to safeguard democracy. The PES will continue to closely follow developments in the USA ahead of the inauguration later this month.