French police used tear gas during a brief clash with demonstrators in Paris who had taken to the streets to oppose both remaining candidates for the presidency: incumbent Emmanuel Macron and the National Rally’s Marine Le Pen.
🇫🇷Un rassemblement de protestation de milliers de personnes a lieu actuellement à #Paris .Le slogan de l’événement est “Ni Macron ni Le Pen”. Mais quels que soient les efforts des participants, la case “contre tous” est désormais absente des bulletins de vote français #Francepic.twitter.com/V2u2mlB78F
— Milky Way (@MilkyWa34808762) April 16, 2022
Anti-fascist, anti-racist protests were held in many cities across the country ahead of April 24’s second round. The largest was in the capital. They wanted to protest Le Pen who many leftists see as a far-right politician. However, many of Le Pen’s opponents apparently do not relish the prospect of another term for Macron. In fact, one of the most popular slogans of the march was “Ni Macron, ni Le Pen” (“Macron is not the same as Le Pen”).
According to Paris prefecture figures, the protest gathered less than 10,000 people. This number is far below the anti-Le Pen demonstrations which took place between rounds two of 2017’s presidential election.
Around 5 pm, police responded to the protestors throwing projectiles and torching bicycles and other waste at Place de la Republique square by temporarily dispersing teargas. Shortly after, the march resumed.
Paris 🇫🇷 manifestation contre le racisme et le fascisme Arrivée Place de la République la manifestation s’est terminée par quelques affrontements avec les Forces de l’Ordre comme d’hab.#manifs16avrilpic.twitter.com/usSj0Ffgkf
— Lahouaria Chérif (@CherifLahouaria) April 16, 2022
Le Pen, speaking to reporters in southern France, commented on the demonstrations against her, saying that “Demonstrating against elections results is deeply undemocratic.”
“All these people should vote. It’s that simple.,” she said.
The ‘Neither Macron nor Le Pen’ protest was one of at least six demonstrations that took place in Paris on Saturday. There was also a separate demonstration against Macron’s policies, a march in support of Ukraine and two Yellow Vest protests: one against obligatory Covid-19 vaccinations and another one for “Justice in the areas of social, economic and environmental justice.”
Macron faces Le Pen in French Election Runoff
A runoff will decide the presidency between Le Pen and incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, who received a combined 27.6% of vote and 23.41 percent in the first round. When the two meet on April 24, polls indicate that Macron will be the winner.
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