Lawlessness, rioting unacceptable – US Ambassador to Guyana
Storming of Capitol Hill
…says democratic institutions remained robust despite chaos
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, has condemned Wednesday’s invasion of the US Capitol by pro-Donald Trump protesters as Congress met to tally the electoral votes that certify Joe Biden’s election as president.
In a statement on Thursday, Ambassador Lynch said she is deeply shocked and saddened by the events which took place at the US Capitol.
“Lawlessness and rioting are always unacceptable, and do not represent the values of the United States as enshrined in the US Constitution. There is a role for peaceful protests to hold leaders to account, but that is not what we saw yesterday. Despite the chaos, our democratic institutions remain robust. Those responsible will be held accountable, and the democratic process will continue. Our nation will have an orderly transition to a new administration on January 20th,” Lynch posited.
The diplomat went on to say that the United States has been tested before and will be tested again, but its strong institutions will always prevail.
Further, she applauded the legislative representatives whom she says admirably performed their duties to protect and defend the US democracy.
Ambassador Lynch has said she was also truly heartened by notes from allies and partners around the world about their faith in the strength of the U.S. democracy.
Upset at the outcome of the presidential election, the protesters stormed the US Capitol around 14:00h on Wednesday, while Senators were debating an objection to Arizona’s electoral votes raised by Republican Trump’s supporters.
According to Al Jazeera, the debate was halted when word came that protesters were in the hall outside of the Senate Chamber. It was reported that protesters overwhelmed US Capitol Police outside, and numerous protesters were able to breach security and enter the Capitol Building.
They created a scene of chaos and caused members of Congress to flee the House and Senate chambers to be safely locked down elsewhere for several hours.
The riots resulted in one woman being fatally shot by Police and three others dying of apparently medical emergencies. Additionally, a US Capitol Police officer was also reportedly killed, and over a dozen DC Metropolitan Police officers were injured in the riots.
Nevertheless, following several hours of lockdown, legislators resumed the debates on Wednesday evening after law enforcement officers cleared and secured the Capitol Building.
The proceedings continued into the wee hours of Thursday, when Republican Vice President Mike Pence eventually declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner of the U.S. presidential election and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, as the winner of the vice presidency. This was after both the Senate and the House rejected challenges by Trump’s loyalists to Biden’s win, and the electoral votes were finally counted by Congress.
Shortly after, President Trump, who had been adamant that there was voter fraud at the November 2020 elections, and that he would not concede, issued a statement in which he pledged there would be “an orderly transition” on January 20, 2021, when Biden’s inauguration will be held.
Meanwhile, at a news conference on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined calls for invoking the 25th Amendment against President Trump for his role in Wednesday’s unrests, after he urged supporters at a rally earlier in the day to “fight like hell” to stop Congress from certifying the Biden electoral win.
“The President of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America… In calling for this seditious act, the President has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people. I join the Senate Democratic Leader in calling on the Vice President to remove this President by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment that is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus and the American people,” Pelosi declared.
The 25th Amendment lays out how a US president and vice president may be succeeded or replaced.
US media have reported that on Thursday that VP Pence is not in favour of invoking the amendment, and had not yet discussed stripping Trump of his presidential powers with any Cabinet members.
It was also reported that Federal prosecutors are looking at President Trump’s role in the violent riots that left the world’s second largest democracy shaken.