France: UMP backer assaulted

June 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM

PARIS, June 14 (UPI) -- Campaigning for the second round of French parliamentary elections turned violent when a Front National supporter attacked a UMP backer.

The assault occurred Wednesday evening in the Var region in southern France, Radio France Internationale reported. In that parliamentary district, the candidate of the right-wing UMP has refused to stand down for the candidate of the even more right-wing FN.

The UMP or Union for a Popular Movement has been having a bad year. President Nicholas Sarkozy lost his bid for re-election to Socialist Francois Hollande, and the Socialists seem likely to pick up a parliamentary majority Sunday.

Eline Enrique-Bouzanquet, who is on the ballot as an alternate to UMP candidate Etienne Mourut, said a man knocked her down outside her home in Saint Dionisy, yelling racist insults at her. Her assailant also said Mourut should drop out of the race.

Gilbert Collard, the FN candidate, was the top vote-getter in the first round, with just over one-third of the total. He called the assault on Enrique-Bouzanquet wrong.

Collard, one of a small number of FN candidates believed to have a chance of winning a seat in parliament, said he has been getting death threats.

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