Published: 14:46, June 24, 2024
France faces risk of violence due to snap election, interior minister says
By Reuters
This photo taken in Nice, southeastern France, on June 22, 2024 shows torn elections posters on a wall. (PHOTO / AFP)

PARIS - France could see civil unrest and violence that is related to the elections, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Monday as campaigning enters its last week before the first round of voting.

"It's possible that there will be extremely strong tensions," Darmanin told RTL radio, adding that authorities were preparing for a "highly inflammable" situation, with the vote taking place less than a month before the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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"The people says 'no' to the Parisians, to the elites with their diplomas", Darmanin told RTL radio.

President Emmanuel Macron, who shocked the nation with a decision to dissolve the National Assembly earlier this month, is not on the ballot, but for many voters, the election is perceived as a referendum on the fate of a president once seen as an able to overcome political divisions, but whose approval ratings collapsed after several political crises.

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"I trust you," Macron told voters in a 'letter to the French' published on Sunday in which he sought to cast his camp, lagging in the polls behind the far right and a newly formed leftwing alliance, as the last hope for stability, adding: "I'm not blind: I'm aware of the democratic malaise."

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Macron also reiterated that he would stay in office until his term ends in 2027 regardless of the outcome of the election.