June 15, 2017 / 10:02 AM / a month ago

Female politician attacked while campaigning in French election

2 Min Read

French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet leaves the hospital in Paris, France, June 16, 2017. Leading French conservative politician and candidate in the parliamentary elections, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet was attacked and knocked out in a Paris market on Thursday while canvassing support ahead of Sunday's vote.Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Leading French conservative politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet was attacked and knocked out in a Paris market on Thursday while canvassing support ahead of Sunday's vote, her campaign team said.

The former environment minister, at risk of losing her National Assembly seat as President Emmanuel Macron's party eyes a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, will remain in hospital overnight, the team said.

News agency AFP showed pictures of a man throwing leaflets in the face of the politician, widely known in France under the acronym "NKM", and of her lying on the pavement.

"Nathalie is sorry not to be able to take part in the end of the campaign," her team's statement read.

The man in his 50s called her a "crappy bobo", a derisive term for an urban hipster, AFP said.

French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (C) leaves the hospital in Paris, France, June 16, 2017. Leading French conservative politician and candidate in the parliamentary elections, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet was attacked and knocked out in a Paris market on Thursday while canvassing support ahead of Sunday's vote.Gonzalo Fuentes

The Paris prosecutors' office said an investigation had been opened into the incident, which occurred on a Left Bank street market.

Her centrist rival suspended his campaign and politicians across the left-right divide denounced the attack.

"Violence has no place in an election campaign," tweeted far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Campaigning closes at midnight on Friday.

Kosciusko-Morizet, 44, was defeated by Socialist Anne Hidalgo in her bid to become the first female mayor of Paris in 2014.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Richard Lough

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