Éric Zemmour who announced his candidacy for the 2022 French presidential election on November 30 injured his wrist on Sunday at an election rally in a northern suburbs of Paris, after an assailant had grabbed him by the neck just before the candidate was to go on stage to deliver his first speech of the campaign.
Following several support speeches at the podium, Zemmour arrived in the green room off stage around 5:30 PM. In the middle of a cheering crowd, an individual grabbed him by the neck. The aggressor was immediately extracted from his victim, according to Zemmour’s team, then arrested by the police.
Antoine Diers, the spokesperson for Zemmour’s new Reconquest party, said a complaint was launched and praised the courage of the presidential candidate, who went on to hold his first campaign rally in an atmosphere marred by tensions and violence.
Zemmour’s doctors said that the attack would incapacitate him for nine days. But whether the candidate obeys them or not, an attack that incapacitates the victim for eight days or more is punishable under French law by up to three years in prison and a 45,000 euros fine, according to the French Interior Ministry.
I do not have forty years of experience in political craftiness and media doublespeak. They think it is a weakness. I think it is a strength.#ZemmourVillepinte #RECONQUETE #ZemmourPresident #France https://t.co/BbKWupsMeo
— Éric Zemmour | English (@ZemmourEnglish) December 5, 2021
Early polling has suggested Zemmour could qualify for the second election round (Presidential candidates must win more than 50% of the votes, a result impossible to get with a relatively large field of candidates in the first round, and so the top two candidates face off a few weeks later. Depending on endorsements by the losers, the final winner is not necessarily the one who finished first in round one.
Éric Zemmour was born in 1958 in Paris, to Algerian Jewish parents with French citizenship. He has been married since 1982 to Mylène Chichportich, a lawyer of Tunisian Jewish descent who specializes in bankruptcy law. They have two boys and a girl.
Zemmour, who calls himself a Gaullist and a Bonapartist, has been described by the media as coming from the “far-right,” which is code for crazy and borderline Nazi. Historian Laurent Joly wrote back in 2015 that “no other intellectual, journalist or writer has had this status as a broker of far-right ideas with a very large readership.”
But political scientist Jean-Yves Camus has described Zemmour as being on the right, but as such he is in the “radical conservative right.” As a result, French media outlets have stopped calling him “far-right” and instead adopted the “on the right,” the “conservative right,” or Gaullist.
Zemmour wants to distance France from the United States and pursue a better relationship with Russia. He also wants independence from the European Union and its foreign policy. He wants a stronger French army and says France’s power in the world stems from its military and its nuclear arms capabilities. He supports a withdrawal from NATO.