Last Updated on Thursday, 7 January 2021, 8:29 by Denis Chabrol
As hundreds of pro-Trump supporters were storming the Capitol building in Washington DC to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States (US), Guyana’s Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Wednesday called for democracy to be preserved.
“I stand with those upholding the rule of law, I call for the will of the electorate to prevail, as democracy battles for survival in its most formidable global bastion,” he said on his Facebook page.
Mr. Nandlall is also an executive member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that had depended heavily on diplomatic support from the United States, among several other countries and international organisations, for the results of the recounted votes cast in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections to be used to declare his party the winner.
Neither the PPP nor the Guyana government has officially said anything about the political situation in the US.
The situation at the Capitol building was eventually brought under control and the US election results were eventually certified.
Ironically, it was the Donald Trump-led administration that had been at the forefront of several Western Nations and the Organisation of American States (OAS) that had called for a peaceful transition of power from David Granger’s A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) to the PPP.
Opposition APNU+AFC lawmaker, Sherod Duncan remarked on a social media programme Wednesday night that the incident at Capitol Hill “looked like a Third World country.” Mr. Duncan, referring to the convergence of numerous boisterous PPP supporters at the Region Four Returning Office at Ashmin’s Building on Hadfield and High Streets, noted that that the US had played a critical role in Guyana’s electoral process. ” Mr. Duncan described Mr. Trump’s claims of being cheated as “bizarre” and went on to observe that “America had a large role to play in the outcome of our election.”
At the height of the unrest, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday stated that “Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be.”
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on the US not to exhibit double-standards when it comes to the preservation and promotion of democracy. “Disgraceful scenes in U.S. 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.”
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated on Twitter that, “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.” Hours later after the unrest quelled, Mr Raab added that, “After the shocking events yesterday, it was good to see the resumption of US Congress and the certification of President Elect Biden’s victory. It sends an important message that the democratic will of the US people cannot be challenged or overturned by the actions of a violent minority. The UK condemns yesterday’s violence unequivocally.”
The OAS also condemned what Mr. Biden described as an “insurrection”, saying that it amounted to an attack on democracy. “The OAS General Secretariat condemns and repudiates the attack against institutions being carried out today in the United States by protesters who disavow recent electoral results. Democracy has as its fundamental pillar the independence of the powers of the State, which must act completely free of pressure. The exercise of force and vandalism against the institutions constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Ronald Sanders, however, criticised that hemispheric organisation for condemning the US President and his allies. “At last, a statement. But no condemnation of the politicians who are behind these protests and thuggery in an effort to remain in power in defiance of democracy and the will of the people. The protestors were encouraged and funded,” said the Guyana-born Sanders on the OAS’ Twitter feed in direct response to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.
Mr. Almagro is regarded as pro-Trump in some quarters.
Venezuela and Argentina have also publicly expressed concerns about the now normalised situation in the US.