More than 50 people assaulted in tense French snap election campaign

More than 50 politicians and activists in France have been assaulted in the run-up to Sunday's final round of snap parliamentary elections, the Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin has said.

"This campaign is short and yet we already have 51 candidates, substitutes and activists who have been physically assaulted," Darmanin told BFMTV on Friday.

More than 30 people have been arrested, he said, including militants from far-right and far-left groups.

Four people, including three minors, were detained over attacking government spokeswoman Prisca Thevenot and her team on Wednesday while they were putting up campaign posters in Meudon outside Paris, prosecutors said.

The motive for the attack is not clear.

Thevenot, who is of Mauritian origin, was not harmed but her colleague Virgine Lanlo and a supporter were wounded and taken to hospital after the attack by around 20 people.

France 'on edge'

Last month, President Emmanuel Macron took a gamble in calling snap parliamentary elections just weeks before Paris hosts the Olympics, after the far right trounced his centrist alliance in European elections.

Tensions have risen after the anti-immigration and Eurosceptic National Rally (RN) party came out ahead after the first round of voting on 30 June, winning 39 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly outright.

The anti-immigration party is predicted to win Sunday's runoff.

Darmanin said the attacks were happening in a climate in which France was "on edge".

(with newswires)

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Le Pen insists National Rally will still win big in French elections despite slip in polls
What happens now that far right leads in France's parliamentary elections?
Horse-trading begins after France's far right wins first round of snap elections