The world has watched with surprise and horror as thousands of pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol, seeking to overturn the poll results and bring about a second term for President Donald Trump. According to officials, four people have been killed in the altercation, while more than 50 have been arrested.
The incident has drawn sharp criticism from US politicians across party lines, with many laying the blame squarely with President Trump. The US Congress had convened to count and certify the votes cast by the US Electoral College when the protesters arrived, and it took officials nearly four hours to clear the Capitol.
Across the world, leaders and politicians have reacted in much the same way, calling for democratic processes to be upheld. While most shied away from criticising the President, some held Trump directly responsible for the situation.
"Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Disgraceful scenes in US Congress," tweeted Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, a staunch ally of the United States over generations.
"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," he added.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon too took to Twitter calling out the dissenters in no uncertain terms. "The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in Flag of United States on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy," she tweeted.
"I share the sentiment of friends in the US - what is happening is wrong. 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," remarked New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern.
"We believe in democracy," tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron sharing a video statement.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison took to social media condemning the violent clashes and said that the country looked forward to a peaceful transition.
"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 wrote.
The list of countries criticising the US and the chaos prevailing in Washington DC is rather long. Charles Michel, the President of the European Council took to Twitter calling for a peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden.
"The US Congress is a temple of democracy. To witness tonight’s scenes in #WashingtonDC is a shock. We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden" he tweeted.
"Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling on democracy," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter.
"This is insurrection. Nothing less. In Washington," tweeted Carl Bildt, a former prime minister of Sweden.
Turkey, a NATO ally that has sometimes been at odds with Washington, expressed concern over the scenes of angry Trump supporters surging into the Capitol in an attempt to thwart the certification of Biden as the new president. The chaos forced lawmakers to be rushed from the building. A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement urged all parties in the United States to use "moderation and common sense."
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(With inputs from agencies)