Members of the French public greeted President Emmanuel—the former banker turned globalist politician—with a less-than-cordial welcome as the re-elected head of state made his first public outing since this weekend’s vote, hurling tomatoes at him and his entourage.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday in Cergy—a working-class community in the northwest suburbs of Paris—saw Macron targeted with a torrent of cherry tomatoes, none of which managed to strike him, as he and his bodyguards made their way through the crowded aisles of the local outdoor market, Le Point reports.
As revealed in video footage of the incident, members of Macron’s security team were seen quickly reacting to the situation, covering the president’s head—and even deploying a kevlar umbrella—to block the stream of projectiles from hitting the president. Following several seconds of chaos and disorder, the team’s movement quickly resumed.
While speaking to the citizens of Val-d’Oise, a region where he garnered fewer votes than the left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round, Macron, to counter the widely held belief that he’s the ‘president of the rich,” said: “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 neighborhoods that are most in difficulty, of all the territories of our Republic that are most in difficulty, every day.”
“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 mandate,” the president, who’s now refocused his attention on parliamentary elections in June, added.
Between now and June, Macron will endeavor to lay the political groundwork required to resecure his party’s majority in National Assembly, the country’s 577-seat lower house. If he fails to do so, he risks becoming a ‘lame-duck president’ for the next five years.
Earlier this week, a survey carried out by the U.S. polling and market research firm Harris Interactive revealed that, at present, Macron’s left-liberal party is expected to win 326 to 366 seats in June, a clear improvement from the 308 seats that his party garnered five years.
The survey also revealed that an alliance between the country’s National Right parties —Rassemblement National, Reconquête!, and Debout la France—could win between 117 and 147 seats in the lower house, while a potential leftist coalition could gain between 73 and 93 seats.
It should be noted that in Sunday’s election, Macron lost more than two million votes compared to 2017, with 28% of the country abstaining from voting—the highest rate since 1969.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.