It is disquieting that the United States cannot say with complete confidence today, that its democratic institutions can guarantee a peaceful transfer of power. Failures at multiple levels resulted in the storming of the Capitol building last year by a mob in a perverse attempt to stop the electoral college certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. The event that tarnished a hallmark democracy and led to tragic deaths and injuries remains an open wound still waiting to be dressed. President Joe Biden's speech last week on the first anniversary of the Jan 6 riots could mark a start. Although he did not call out Mr Donald Trump by name, Mr Biden made 16 references to the "former president" to pin his culpability in the insurrection that left five people dead and more than a hundred injured. How the US resolves the crisis will be watched the world over.
There were no new revelations in Mr Biden's speech on the attacks carried out by Mr Trump's supporters. Accountability still remains to be established. Criminal charges have been filed against more than 725 people. Mr Trump is not one of them although a congressional probe into his involvement in the riots is ongoing. He has refused to acknowledge his own role, although he was impeached by the House of Representatives on a count of inciting an insurrection. A Senate trial acquitted him after only seven senators from his Republican party voted to convict him.