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French election results trigger riots (VIDEOS)

Turmoil erupted after the left-wing New Popular Front coalition emerged victorious

Riots, clashes, and looting broke out across France as left-wing supporters flooded the streets to celebrate the New Popular Front coalition’s victory over the right-wing National Rally and President Emmanuel Macron’s centrists on Sunday.

Over 30,000 riot police officers, including 5,000 in Paris alone, were deployed across France to prevent violence as political tensions rose ahead of the election showdown between the right and left.

Shortly after preliminary results were announced on Sunday night, riots sparked at the New Popular Front rally in downtown Paris, with Nantes, Lyon, Marseille, and Rennes soon joining in.

The crowd gathered at Republic Square, firing fireworks and chanting: “Young people, screw the National Front!”

Police desperately tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas as a hooded and masked mob started throwing bottles, erecting barricades, and setting bikes on fire. At least one officer was reportedly injured by a Molotov cocktail.

In video footage posted online, police are seen charging towards the center of the square.

Multiple fire brigades were deployed to extinguish the fires set by rioters.

Paris restaurants, banks, and other venues had attempted to secure their windows with wooden panels ahead of the election day, but the mob still reportedly looted several shops.

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After the square was cleared by the police, piles of rubbish and broken windows remained.

French President Emmanuel Macron called snap elections last month after the right-wing National Rally party (RN) performed strongly at the EU parliamentary vote, beating his Renaissance Party with twice as many votes. Despite leading the first round of elections by securing 33% of the vote, the RN suffered a setback, coming third with 143 seats in the second round. The left-wing New Popular Front bloc emerged as the winner with 182 seats but no absolute majority. Macron’s bloc trailed in second place with 168 seats.

July 08, 2024 at 07:34AM

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