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Protests erupt in France after Macron’s election win

Chants of ‘neither Marine, nor Macron’ were heard in Paris and across the country after the result

Sam Hancock
Monday 25 April 2022 17:15 BST
Riot police charge into French protestors amid anger over Macron re-election

Protesters took to the streets in several cities in France following Emmanuel Macron’s re-election as president on Sunday night.

Footage on social media showed riot police charging into crowds of mostly young people in central Paris, while images of the aftermath signalled officers had used teargas to break up groups.

Dozens of people gathered in the neighbourhood of Chatelet, as well as on Place de la République, to oppose Mr Macron’s victory. Protests also took place in Lyon, Montpellier and Toulouse.

Earlier in the day, he became the first French leader to win re-election for 20 years, scoring 58.54 per cent of the vote compared with far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s 41.46 per cent.

In his victory speech, the pro-European centrist vowed to unite a divided France after and said he would respond “efficiently” to the “anger and disagreement” of voters who chose the far right.

While Mr Macron won with a comfortable majority, reports from around the country at around 5pm yesterday suggested the number of people abstaining from voting was expected to settle at the country’s highest rate since 1969.

Despite being defeated, Ms Le Pen succeeded in delivering the far-right its biggest ever score in a French presidential election.

Police arrest a man during a protest against Macron’s victory on Place de la République (Getty)

Between the first round of voting – which pointed towards Mr Macron’s ultimate victory – and Sunday’s runoff, French students began protesting outside the Sorbonne in Paris and other universities, expressing their disillusionment with the choice of leaders on offer.

One video, filmed at Place de la République last night, appeared to show a group chanting about Mr Macron, comparing him to the last king of France, Louis XVI.

A teenage boy holds up a flare as people protest the election result in central Paris (Getty)

Louis Seize, Louis Seize, on l’a décapité, Macron, Macron, on peut recommencer,” they can be heard saying, which translates into: “Louis Sixteenth, Louis Sixteenth, we beheaded him, Macron, Macron, we can start again”.

People were filmed walking down a street and chanting “Ni Marine, ni Macron” – “neither Marine, nor Macron” – in Montpellier, while in Toulouse in the south of France, residents gathered in the street and set communal bins on fire.

Protesters also came out in force in Lyon, marching through red smoke after letting off flares.

Teargas is used by police to break up crowds of protestors at Place de la République in Paris (Anadolu Agency via Getty)

Despite the hysteria, Mr Macron issued a triumphant victory speech beneath the Eiffel Tower, with his supporters shouting “five more years” in celebration of the fact he secured another term – and fought off Ms Le Pen.

“I know that a number of French people have voted for me today, not to support my ideas, but to stop the ideas of the far right,” he said, before calling on supporters to be “kind and respectful” to others.

“I’m not the candidate of one camp any more, but the president of all of us.”

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