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Flour thrown at French presidential contender Hollande

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 3:27 PM EST, Wed February 1, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Flour was thrown at Francois Hollande as he made a campaign stop
  • He is challenging Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency
  • Security guards removed the woman who threw the flour from the stage
  • She told French TV she was unhappy with the Socialist Party

Paris (CNN) -- A woman threw flour at front-running French presidential candidate Francois Hollande as he made a campaign stop Wednesday, in what she said was a protest against his Socialist Party.

Hollande was giving a speech on housing in La Porte de Versailles, in Paris, at the time of the flour-bomb attack.

Video footage showed Hollande, who is the main challenger to incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy in the election in the spring, looking surprised but not panicked as flour showered down on him at the podium.

Bodyguards leaped forward to protect Hollande as the protester was tackled to the ground and then carried from the stage.

Paris police could not confirm whether she had been arrested as of Wednesday evening.

Speaking to BFM Television, the woman said, "My name is Claire Seguin. I am 45 years old, and I am being killed by the Socialists in Lille. I have a blog that I started called 'un micro sous l'oreiller' (a mic under the pillow). I am at the end of my tether because the law is no longer applied."

After the incident, Hollande posted on his official Twitter account: "There are other ways to show that you are unhappy. I remain always open to dialogue."

The French go to the polls this year, with the first round of the presidential elections scheduled for April 22 and the second round for May 6.

Hollande, who was picked as his party's candidate in primaries in October, is leading opinion polls.

Sarkozy is running for election to a second term at the head of his center-right UMP Party.

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