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France

French police hunt man who attacked politician campaigning at Paris market

© Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt, AFP | French candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet was assaulted by a man in Paris, on June 15th, 2017.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-16

Leading French conservative politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet briefly lost consciousness after being attacked while handing out leaflets for Sunday's legislative poll at a Paris market Thursday, her team has reported.

The former environment minister under ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, is at risk of losing her seat at the National Assembly as President Emmanuel Macron's party heads for a landslide, was taken to hospital.

The politician, known in France by her initials NKM, was campaigning at a popular market in central Paris's 5th arrondissement when the attack occurred.

NKM, 44, was first insulted by the man, who then tried to throw her campaign leaflets in her face causing the politician to fall.

Below is a tweet with a photo showing the assailant shoving the pamphlets in the French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet's face, just before she fell.

The aggressor -- a man in his fifties -- shouted that she was a "crappy bobo", a derisive term for an urban hipster, AFP said.

Blacked out amid attack

After falling, she reportedly blacked out for several minutes, possibly after hitting her head, before being revived by emergency services. Widely circulated pictures showed her lying on the pavement.

The attacker immediately fled the scene as soon as NKM collapsed.

The Paris prosecutors' office said an investigation had been opened and a manhunt is underway.

NKM is facing a tough battle to hold her seat in central Paris constituency against Gilles Le Gendre of Macron's La République en Marche (LREM – formerly known as ‘En Marche!’) party.

She has earned attention as a fierce critic of the far-right National Front, even as many members of her Les Républicains party (formerly UMP) adopt the rhetoric of the anti-immigration party. She has earned respect in some quarters for sticking to her political guns and not being an ‘opinion poll politician’.

Kosciusko-Morizet was previously defeated by Socialist Anne Hidalgo in her bid to become the first female mayor of Paris in 2014.

She was also the official spokeswoman for Sarkozy’s failed presidential re-election bid.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

Date created : 2017-06-15

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