François Hollande, the Socialist candidate in the French presidential election, has been attacked at a campaign stop in Paris by a woman brandishing a bag of flour.
The woman, who claims that police are monitoring her movements and her life has been threatened, ran onto the podium where Hollande was standing to sign a “social contract” and threw flour on him, the AP reported.
Bodyguards sprang forward to protect Hollande and rushed the candidate’s assailant off her feet, forcibly carrying her off the stage, according to the BBC.
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The incident occurred at La Porte de Versailles, as Hollande was discussing housing issues. The woman, later named as 45-year-old Claire Seguin from Lille, was heard shouting that she had been denied justice and was being “assassinated by Socialists.”
Hollande, though visibly shocked and covered in white, stayed calm throughout the incident, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A message sent later from his official Twitter account described the flour-bombing as an “isolated attack which does its author no credit.”
“There are other ways of showing one’s disagreement. I remain ever open to dialogue.”
It was later revealed that a bullet and threatening letters had been sent last month to French Green presidential candidate Eva Joly.
The first round of France’s presidential election is to be held on April 22. Opinion polls released this week put Hollande firmly ahead of the other candidates and suggest that he will lead the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, into a second round of voting on May 6.
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