A man slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face when he was on a walkabout in southern France on Tuesday.
Video shows Macron approach a man to shake his hand, before the member of the public slaps him.
Following the incident, which has been widely condemned by political party leaders, two people were arrested, reportedly on a charge of “willful violence against a person in charge of public authority.”
Breitbart reports: French populist National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen condemned the attack saying, “It is unacceptable to physically attack the President of the Republic. It is unacceptable to attack politicians but even more so the President of the Republic because he is the President of the Republic.”
“We can fight him politically but we cannot afford to have the slightest gesture, the slightest violence against him,” Le Pen said.
Xavier Bertrand, a member of the centre-right Les Repupicains, also commented on the attack saying, “No political disagreement will ever justify violence. Respect for the institutions of the Republic and its representatives is a cardinal principle of our democratic life.”
Far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon stated that he was in solidarity with President Macron saying, “This time you are beginning to understand that the violent take action? I stand in solidarity with the President.”
It is unclear what the motivation was behind the attack on Macron, but far-left MP Éric Coquerel linked the attack to the “royalist far-right,” claiming that he had been attacked by members of the royalist group action française in a similar manner several years ago.
With the French presidential election just under a year away, the assault on Macron follows an April report that suggested he could lose the French presidential race to Ms Le Pen under certain conditions, according to the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.