Macron facing crisis as fears grow election may prompt riots | World | News

France could be plunged into fresh riots after Emmanuel Macron‘s unexpected decision to call new legislative elections.

The president sent shockwaves across Europe with his surprise decision to dissolve the French Parliament.

Many have called it a dangerous gamble that could land Marine Le Pen‘s far-Right National Rally a major victory.

Now Laurent Nunez, the prefect of the Parisian police, has warned of possible public order disruption should the National Rally snatch a considerable victory at the ballot on June 30 and July 7.

He told France Inter: “We could have street demonstrations that could degenerate.”

Linda Kebbab, national delegate for the Un1te police union, stressed she does not believe France would descend into the same chaos that swept through the country last June following the killing of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, who was shot by police at point-blank range.

The context, she said, “is completely different” this time – but she did not entirely rule out some “prominent figures or activists” from the “far-Left” unleashing fury in sensitive neighbourhoods.

She explained: “If they do nothing, if things go well in terms of public order disturbances, if there is no ‘civil war’, it will give the impression of a form of democratic acceptance of a result that they are contesting.”

Sociologist Thomas Sauvadet, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Paris-Est Créteil, agreed there could be riots following the French elections – but did not believe the “far-Left” would be behind them.

Analysing the composition of the neighbourhoods at the heart of the riots in 2005 and 2023, he said some 10 percent of young men there were involved in illegal activities and gangs.

This minority of young people, he said speaking to French news outlet 20 Minutes, “has always positioned itself in relation to the far Right, since the 1980s”.

The police and Ms Le Pen, he added, “are the only two variables that stimulate them politically, that make them react and that can lead them to violence, to riot-like acts and to attacks on police officers”.

Mr Sauvadet went on to say gangs “have always had” problems with the police, and now there is an “added dimension of racism”.

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