French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face while greeting a crowd in southeast France on Tuesday, a security scare that drew widespread condemnation ahead of regional elections this month.
The video shows a man slapping Mr Macron in the face and his bodyguards pushing the man away as the French leader quickly leaves the scene. Another member of the security detail is seen pulling the president away from the crowd.
The man reportedly shouted "Down with Macron-ism" as he slapped the president. "Saint Denis!" a centuries-old royalist war cry, before finishing with "A bas la Macronie", or "Down with Macron". Authorities don arrest two men sake of dis incident, according to French media.
Prime Minister Jean Castex called for a "Republican awakening, adding: "Democracy is debate, dialogue, expressing legitimate disagreements, but it can not in any way be violence, verbal aggression or physical aggression".
While Macron was ushered from the spot of the slap, he remained near the crowd for a few more seconds and also appeared to talk to someone on the other side of the barrier, Reuters said.
"Democracy is about debate, dialogue, confrontation of ideas, expression of legitimate disagreements, of course, but in no case it can be violence, verbal assault and even less physical assault", Mr Castex said.
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He told journalists: 'Democratic life needs calm and respect, from everybody involved - from political leaders and citizens like.
The centrist is widely expected to seek re-election in next year's presidential elections and polls show him with a narrow lead over far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, of the left-wing La France Insoumise group, said simply: 'I stand in solidarity with the President'.
"We can attack him politically but any violence against him should be condemned in a democracy", she said.
Village mayors and lawmakers also have been targeted with physical assaults, death threats and harassment.
And former President Francois Hollande tweeted, "To attack a President of the Republic is to give an unbearable intolerable blow to our institutions".