Paris Olympics organisers hope for peaceful reaction to French election

The key risk to the Paris Games from the political uncertainty gripping France is public disturbances that could impact the already stretched security services, a former International Olympic Committee executive told AFP on Monday.

The far-right National Rally (RN) party of Marine Le Pen won a resounding victory in the first round of snap legislative elections on Sunday, with President Emmanuel Macron's centrists trailing in third behind a left-wing coalition.

A second round of voting takes place next Sunday, just 19 days before the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics.

A hung parliament could lead to months of political paralysis and chaos -- just as Paris is hosting the Games.

Michael Payne, former head of marketing at the IOC, told AFP the level of support politically and around France during the ongoing torch relay suggested "the Olympics themselves are not going to be caught in any political crossfire."

However, on the streets it may be a different matter if a section of the electorate take the results badly.

"The key risk is whether the election results lead to any form of public disturbance," Payne said.

"That might impact the security and the already stretched services."

"Final delivery is left to the organising committee and civil servants, not the politicians."

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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