PM Babiš and other Czech leaders condemn pro-Trump rioters’ invasion of U.S. Congress

Czech leaders say the events in Washington set a poor example for democracies across the world.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 07.01.2021 09:04:00 (updated on 07.01.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

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A violent protest in Washington, D.C., that saw supporters of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump storm the Capitol Building has been condemned by Czech politicians. The protesters were attempting to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the next president.

“What has happened in the USA is an unprecedented attack on democracy that claimed four lives. The transfer of power between presidents must be always calm and smooth,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) tweeted.

“I firmly hope that the incidents will not continue,” he added in a second tweet.

Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrat, ČSSD) also condemned the protest.

“Robbery and violence in the U.S. Senate are not a good example for countries where democracy is still struggling. The emotions of the last US presidential election suggested that today's meeting will not be without obstacles. Where were the police and the Senate security...?,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček (ČSSD) said the scenes from the Capitol had shown where the policy of escalating tension in society, the efforts at polarity and refusal to accept the result of democratic elections could lead.

Opposition party leaders also voiced their shock.

“This is a horrific (non)leaving of President Trump, which harms the Republicans and primarily threatens the basic principles of the American Constitution” Civic Democrat (ODS) leader, Petr Fiala, said.

“My sympathies are with those Republicans who, despite great pressure, defend the constitution, democracy, the law and the decisions of the electorate, even if they do not like politics,” he added.

He made a more extensive statement of Facebook. “Trump's example once again shows that correct political views are not enough, that character and personal integrity are needed, that populism and narcissism is a dead end, that the conservative must believe and respect values, institutions and traditions and not do what he wants. Otherwise, it is too much a temptation and the damage in the end kills the achievements,” he said.

On Jan. 6, the U.S. Congress met to confirm the results of the presidential vote, in which Trump was defeated by his democratic rival Joe Biden.

The TOP 09 party on Facebook appealed to the memory of former Czech President Václav Havel.  “Václav Havel once said: ‘The natural disadvantage of democracy is that it binds its hands immensely to those who think honestly, while it allows almost everything to those who do not take it seriously.’ Donald Trump and his supporters clearly confirm the truth of these words.”

Christian Democrat (KDU-ČSL) Deputy Marian Jurečka said the Czech Republic was not immune from such situations. “Developments in the USA are a practical example of when respect, decency, truthfulness, love disappear from life and politics and are replaced by arrogance, hatred, blindness of power. … I do not want something similar to ever happen in our country, but unfortunately described above is also happening here,” he tweeted.

Unlike previous presidents in modern times, Trump has refused to concede the election and as tried a variety of strategies to challenge or overturn the results, including a series of court challenges that have all failed.

His supporters assembled in Washington, where Trump addressed them. After that, some of the supporters broke into the Capitol to prevent the Senate and House of Representatives from certifying the election results.

Police used tear gas inside the building. However, Trump's followers still got into the rooms of both houses of the Congress. Several people were injured and four died. Police have detained over 50 people.

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