Donald Trump’s presidential term ends amidst the violent intrusion by several hundred pro-Trump activists on January 6, 2021, following the demonstration called upon by the outgoing President of the United States. The French President and the President of the Swiss Confederation as well as most European leaders reacted to the events.
Composed of supporters of the outgoing president, gathered under the banner “Trump is my president”, the crowd which invaded the US Congress for a few hours, symbol of American democracy alongside the White House and the Lincoln Monument, aroused many reactions.
“History will remember the violence today on Capitol Hill, encouraged by a president who relentlessly lied about the outcome of an election, as a moment of dishonor and shame for our country” declared former US President Barack Obama.
Swiss Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, on behalf of the Federal Council, expressed his dismay at the intrusion in Washington while maintaining his confidence in the strength of US institutions. The President of the Confederation added that “American democracy is a precious asset for our country and our fellow citizens because we share its values”.
French President Emmanuel Macron declared in an intervention on the night of January 6 to 7 that “We will not give in to the violence of a few who want to question democracy“. Similar words were uttered in Berlin through the voice of Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who considered that “Donald Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of American voters and stop trampling on democracy.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared that “Violence is incompatible with the exercise of political rights and democratic freedoms.“, While reiterating ” his confidence in the solidity and strength of the institutions of the United States. “, Furthermore, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was ” Shocked by the images coming from Washington ” and called for ” a peaceful and orderly transfer of power “.
Even the Turkish Foreign Ministry also called on “all parties in the United States to be measured and to be cautious.”
It should be noted, however, that the heads of state of Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Hungary and Russia have refrained from condemning the situation, describing it as an “internal US matter”. On the Beijing’s side, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China wants “the stability and security of the United States,” but accused the media and American politicians of ” double standards in praising the storming of the Hong Kong Legislative Council by demonstrators in 2019 but criticizing the storming of the Capitol ”.
Besides the victims of the storming (four demonstrators killed, including a woman shot dead by capitol police, and a police officer who died as a result of beatings, in addition to several dozens injured), what will be the political consequences of this destabilization attempt of American democracy, which was shaken for a few hours but quickly resumed, through the continuation of the hearings in Congress leading to the certification of the November 2020 presidential election results?
Firstly, it will leave an indelible stain on the Trump administration. The fact that the President invited a crowd of his supporters to come to Congress in an attempt to prevent the conduct of the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate weakens Donald Trump and could make him jointly responsible for the events that unfolded on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.
However, the outgoing President backtracked the day after the attack on the Capitol, calling on his supporters to calm and promising an “orderly and smooth transition of power“, while promising that he will not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, being the first outgoing President to do since 1868. However, this did not prevent the resignation of several of his ministers who had distanced themselves, nor the banning of the President’s social media accounts, first until further notice from Facebook and Instagram, and then permanently from Twitter on Friday. This lifetime ban by the microblogging social network is a first for a sitting president.