Paris chaos as riots grip city with far-right set for election loss | World | News

As the votes continue to be counted following France’s hard fought election, pockets of civil unrest have dampened the victory celebrations of The New Popular Front (NFP), a left-wing alliance formed at the last minute to fight the election, who exit polls predict have won the most seats.

No party appears to have won a majority, but with Marine Le Pen, the co-leader of the National Rally with Jordan Bardella, has refused to admit defeat, as she defiantly told reports in her party’s “victory has only been delayed”, and she “sees the seeds of tomorrow’s victory in today’s result”.

With the election result polarising many citizens all across France, a mixture of reactions at both sides of the political divide have been causing chaos for residents in the European nation.

In the French capital Paris, riot police were deployed along with members of the fire brigade, to extinguish bikes that had been set alight following the closure of the polls, with images taken at the Place de la République showing objects aflame and officers in full riot protection gear.

However, just mere yards away, the BBC reports that the mood was not violent but jubilant, with many citizens celebrating the latest results and setting off fireworks while also scaling the iconic statue of France’s beloved Marianne, the Republic’s personification of liberty, equality and fraternity.

Meanwhile, in Nantes, Western France, thousands of people have also begun taking to the streets to protest the results, and while largely non-violent so far, police have deployed tear gas to help quell any rising tensions and disperse crowds amid the pockets of unrest.

Further outbreaks of unrest have also been reported in France’s third largest city Lyon, along with Marseilles, and Nice.

According to eyewitnesses present at the scene, “glass bottles have rained down on police” and tear gas has been deployed to try and quell rising tensions to stop the situation from escalating.

Footage filmed and shared online has also shown the scale of the disturbance, with multiple fires appearing besides police officers as protestors continue to make their voices heard amid the election results.

French broadcaster CNews has also drawn attention to the tensions erupting near Place de la République in Paris on Sunday evening, with footage filmed in the French capital showing rioters attacking local businesses and smashing windows prompting intervention from the authorities.

In a tweet shared online, a clear standoff was shown just a few streets away from the iconic square, with tear gas, flares, and destruction all present as police tried to calm the violence.

Yet while several small outbursts of violence have been reported across France, the majority of citizens have been celebrating the election results peacefully, with a number of parties and gatherings in several major cities and even more rural locations.

In fact, although the Place de la République has seen some unrest, largely on the outskirts of the 8.4acre landmark, the majority of French citizens in the area have been singing, cheering and waving their country’s flag in a display of patriotic pride and unity.

The latest protests are a result of earlier exit polls, which suggest that a leftist coalition that came together to stave off rising support for the far right, has won the highest number of seats.

The projections are based on the actual vote count in select constituencies, and they put President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance in second and the far right in third.

Final results are expected late Sunday or early Monday.

So far, no party has a majority of parliament seats, and in light of this, the current Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, has stated he will turn in his resignation and step down from his role as PM.

Although the Marine Le Pen’s far right National Rally, has drastically increased the number of seats it holds in parliament exit projections indicate that the party has fallen far short of expectations.

Racism and antisemitism marred the campaign, along with Russian cybercampaigns, and more than 50 candidates reported being physically attacked.

Source link