French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face during his visit to the Drome department in southeastern France on Tuesday, with two people being detained after the incident, BFMTV broadcaster reported.
The video, which is circulating on social networks, shows how the French leader approaches a crowd and gets slapped by an unidentified man.
The incident sparked a strong backlash among French politicians, who were prompt to express solidarity with Macron.
“Are you starting to realize this time that violent people are proceeding to action? I agree with the president,” Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the far-left France Untamed political party, tweeted.
Lawmaker Roland Lescure, a member of Macron’s La Republique En Marche party, called the assault “inappropriate and unacceptable,” adding that the person simply wanted to make a scene.
“If democratic debates can be fierce, they will by no means tolerate physical violence. I strongly condemn unacceptable physical aggression against the president of the Republic,” Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s right-wing National Rally party, wrote on Twitter.
Prime Minister Jean Castex, in turn, said during his address at the lower house, that through the person of the president, the act was an attack on democracy — which suggests dialogue, a clash of ideas, a legitimate expression of disagreement, but in no case violence, verbal aggression, and, even more so, physical aggression.