Published: Tue, June 08, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron slapped slapped by man in crowd

French President Emmanuel Macron slapped slapped by man in crowd

French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face on Tuesday by a man while he stopped to chat with onlookers during a visit to southeast France.

In video circulating on social media, Macron, dressed in shirt sleeves, could be seen walking towards a crowd of well-wishers who were behind a metal barrier. The president meanwhile is rushed away.

The incident was caught on camera as a bearded man wearing glasses and a face mask slapping the president hard on his left cheek. The man was swiftly swarmed by security.

Two 28-year-old men living in the region are being questioned, the local prosecutor's office said, but "at this stage of questioning, their motives remain unknown".

A few hours later, Macron took a 25-minute walk in the narrow streets of the nearby city of Valence, posing for selfies with a small crowd and chatting with many people in a light and warm atmosphere. As of now, two people have been detained by the officials to investigate the attack.

"One is thought to have described himself as an anarchist, but an enquiry is ongoing" said the spokesman.

Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon tweeted his "solidarity with the president" after the incident, BBC News said, while far-right leader Marine Le Pen - a prominent Macron rival - said that "while democratic debate can be bitter, it can never tolerate physical violence".

Visibly fuming, she said later that while Mr Macron is her top political adversary, the assault was "deeply, deeply reprehensible".

'In a democracy, opponents can express themselves freely, on the street, in the press, on television, and through the ballot box.

Mr Macron has not commented yet on the incident and continued his visit.

"We can attack him politically but any violence against him should be condemned in a democracy", she said.

President Macron dey now on one tour of France and bin just visit one hotel school for Tain-l'Hermitage.

A bystander yanked then President Nicolas Sarkozy's suit during a crowd bath in 2011 and his successor, Hollande, was showered with flour the next year, months before winning the presidential election.

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