French President Emmanuel Macron was pelted with tomatoes by a protester on Wednesday, just days after he won a second term in office.
In footage of the incident, Macron’s security is seen attempting to shield him from the small flying fruits first with their hands — then with an umbrella.
Emmanuel Macron ciblé par un jet de tomates lors de son déplacement à Cergy pic.twitter.com/3J0hXIZSRP
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) April 27, 2022
The president was not hit, but someone standing nearby was. Macron appeared to remain cool and collected, at one point saying “it’s not serious,” before being ushered away from the area.
Macron was visiting Cergy, a northwestern suburb of Paris, for his first public appearance since election night. Macron said that he went to the area to show that he stands with people who did not support him. The area leans heavily Socialist and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon ran away with nearly half of their votes during the first round of the election.
“I want to give a message of respect and consideration to these areas that are among the poorest in the country right from the start of my new mandate,” Macron told reporters and onlookers who had gathered. “I have come to say that I have heard the voices of each and everyone, and that I will continue to be committed to the neighbourhoods that are most in difficulty, of all the territories of our Republic that are most in difficulty, every day.”
During his victory speech, Macron said that he will be a “president for all of us,” while acknowledging that many of his votes were not really for him, but against his right-wing populist challenger, Marine Le Pen.
“Many of our compatriots voted for me not out of support for my ideas but to block those of the extreme right,” Macron said. “I want to thank them and I know that I have a duty towards them in the years to come.”
The Macron-Le Pen face-off was a repeat of 2017, but Le Pen brought a far greater challenge, and closer race, this time around. With low approval ratings, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, immigration, and the Russia/Ukraine conflict — it appeared plausible that Macron might have lost.
Macron ultimately beat Le Pen with 58.5 percent of the vote to her 41.5 percent. It was the closest race in her three attempts at becoming president.
Macron now needs to gather support to keep his Republique en Marche party in control of the nation’s National Assembly.
“Voters will have to choose between Mr Macron’s pro-EU agenda, Marine Le Pen’s populist National Rally and the radical-Left France Unbowed party led by Mélenchon. If they can steal seats from Mr Macron’s party or form a coalition to vote down many of his plans, he will effectively be left as a lame-duck president for five years,” the Daily Mail reports.