Violent clashes erupt across France after surprise left-wing election victory

Violent clashes erupt across France after surprise left-wing election victory

Violent clashes erupt across France after surprise left-wing election victory

Serious riots and clashes broke out on Sunday at rallies in Paris and other cities after the second round of the French parliamentary elections, in which initial forecasts showed the left-wing Popular Front (NFP) winning a surprise victory.

In Paris, thousands of people gathered on the Place de la République in the centre of the capital to celebrate the victory of the left-wing alliance in the snap elections.

According to media reports, some protesters clashed with police, who used tear gas. Wooden barricades were set on fire.

Security forces fire tear gas after violence following an election night in Rennes on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Numerous shops and banks in central Paris had secured their windows with wooden panels on election day, in preparation for possible riots. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had mobilized 30,000 police officers for Sunday to prevent clashes, with 5,000 deployed in Paris and the capital’s suburbs alone.

Clashes between far-left activists and police were also reported in the northern city of Lille, with officers using tear gas.

According to media reports, 25 people were arrested in Rennes, western France, after riot police fired tear gas at a group of left-wing protesters who chanted: “Everyone hates the police.”

In Nantes, a police officer was injured by a Molotov cocktail thrown at him, local media reported. Protesters threw fireworks at security forces, who responded by firing tear gas.