Riot cops charge protesters & violence erupts in Paris after Macron win
ANGRY protesters last night clashed with riot police in Paris as violence erupted in the wake of Emmanuel Macron’s historic win.
Demonstrators were doused in tear gas by officers as figures scuffled with law enforcement in the capital after Macron became the first French president to be re-elected in 20 years.
The incumbent 44-year-old, who won over 58 per cent of the vote, declared that “I’m everyone’s president” after seeing off far right candidate Marine Le Pen.
The French leader told thousands of jubilant supporters under the Eiffel Tower: “From now on I am no longer the candidate for a party. I’m everyone’s President!”
He held wife Brigitte’s hands as he greeted a by crowd of adoring fans as they sang and waved French flags.
It contrasted ugly scenes elsewhere across the capital as cops responded to a slew of ugly scenes.
As the clock struck midnight, police reportedly opened fire on a vehicle that tried to run them over as two fatalities were confirmed.
It is believed the driver of the vehicle and a passenger sitting in the front seat were those who died.
Police fired at the car when it refused to stop at a police checkpoint near Pont Neuf in the city’s capital.
Cops told AFP the car was driving against traffic and sped towards officers.
A witness told Le Figaro newspaper: “A car was parked in the wrong direction along the Vert-Galant square on the Pont Neuf.
“The police approached to control the individuals present in the vehicle by pointing automatic weapons at him.
“The driver rushed off towards the police at full speed. The police fired immediately.”
Police have cordoned off the area and launched an investigation into the incident. Reasons for the attack are not known.
Images from the scene show shattered glass on the ground surrounding a dark hatchback and a body covered in a white sheet on the street nearby as France’s day in the spotlight was marred by tragedy.
It came as a crazed knifeman reportedly shouted “we have to kill Macron” as he stabbed two people inside a church on election day yesterday.
A priest, named as Father Christophe, was knifed 20 times and an elderly nun was stabbed in the hand trying to shield him from the frenzied assault at Saint-Pierre-d’Arène church in Nice.
A 31-year-old Frenchman, born in Fréjus, is accused of approaching Father Christophe and unleashing the brutal attack at 10am (local time) on Sunday morning.
The priest was reportedly injured in the chest and legs and is in a critical condition.
A 72-year-old woman, believed to be a nun, received stab wounds to her hands.
The man allegedly suffers from bipolar disorder, according to local reports and official sources. There was no suspicion of a terror motive.
In a separate incident, French police also blocked access to a polling station in the 8th district of Paris following the discovery of a potentially dangerous package.
The violent scenes mirrored a politically sobering day for France that saw it lowest election turnout in more than 40 years, with voter abstention at its highest level since 1969 at 28 per cent.
Election pundits had predicted a close presidential race after Le Pen’s party won 47.5 percent in the first round of voting on April 10.
But it wasn’t to be after she slumped to a second run-off defeat in a row as she vowed to keep up the fight ahead of parliamentary elections looming in June.
‘I will never abandon the French,’ she said to supporters chanting ‘Marine! Marine!’
Macron conceded Le Pen had increased her vote share since 2017, when he beat her with 66 percent.
But he will now stay until 2027 but French Presidents can serve just two terms so is likely to retire before his 50th birthday.