Jan 08, 2022 08:01 UTC
  • Ex-president Jimmy Carter: US 'at genuine risk of civil conflict'

Former US president Jimmy Carter has warned that America “teeters on the brink of a widening abyss,” amid heightened political division in the country.

"Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss," Carter wrote in a New York Times op-ed on the first anniversary of the January 6 fatal attack on the Capitol.

"Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy,” he said, calling on Americans to “set aside differences and work together before it is too late”.

Former president Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, where lawmakers were in the process of confirming Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

The bloody attack took place after Trump repeatedly claimed that his election loss to Biden was the result of widespread fraud.

The attack resulted in the deaths of at least five people, including a police officer.

Carter, 97, said he had hope that the Capitol riot "would shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy”.

"However, one year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems."

According to the former president, the politicians “have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes" and "seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed”.

Carter urged Americans to agree on constitutional norms, respect each other despite political differences and push for election reforms to ensure access to and confidence in elections.

He also called on the American citizens to resist polarization and denounce violence, and to counter the spread of disinformation.