'Democracy will prevail': Ardern condemns US Capitol violence

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Jan 2021, 2:52PM
Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)

'Democracy will prevail': Ardern condemns US Capitol violence

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Jan 2021, 2:52PM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has issued an official statement condemning the violent protests in the US Capitol today.

"Like so many others, I've been watching what's happening in the United States. 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," Ardern wrote on social media.

"Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are to see the events of today. I have no doubt that democracy will prevail."

The New Zealand PM also posted the statement on Twitter, a social media platform she does not use often.

In fact, prior to today, her last tweet had been congratulating Joe Biden on his victory.

Former presidents have savaged Donald Trump for inciting today's deadly rioting at Capitol Hill, as the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory resumes.

Bill Clinton pleaded for a peaceful transfer of power to the new administration.

He said the "unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country" was fuelled by "more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another".

He added: "The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost."

Former President Barack Obama implored Republicans to "choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames".

"History will rightly remember today's violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonour and shame for our nation. But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.

"I've been heartened to see many members of the President's party speak up forcefully today. Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who've refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honourably. We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It's up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal."

Earlier today, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta condemned the riots taking place in the US Capitol, saying "violence has no place in thwarting democracy".

"We regret unfolding events in Washington DC. Our thoughts are with the American people," she said in a tweet.

"We look forward to the peaceful transition of the political administration, which is the hallmark of democracy. Kia tau ngā manaakitanga."

Her comments came after former Prime Minister Helen Clark had also condemned the riots.

"Never in one's wildest imagination could one have envisaged the dangerous events involving mob violence unfolding in Washington DC today," Clark said on Twitter this morning.

"An invasion of the premises of a democratic legislature anywhere is an affront to democracy and the rule of law and must be condemned as such."