Any presidential campaign has its share of emblematic moments that change the course of the race, be they breathtaking instant tide-turners or incidents laden with meaning only in hindsight. With French voters set to elect a president in April, FRANCE 24 takes a look back at some of the emblematic moments from campaigns past. In the spotlight: The deadly shooting rampage in Toulouse and Montauban that brought the 2012 presidential campaign to a halt.
With just over a month to go before the first round of France’s 2012 presidential electionbecame a symbol o, a horrific killing spree rocked the country to its core. The first Islamist terrorist attacks on French soil since 1995 brought the race to a standstill, with top candidates taking the historically unprecedented step of suspending their presidential campaigns. The surreal truce coincided with the dramatic pursuit of a killer and the laying to rest of his seven victims. The photograph of a palette of solemn presidential candidates, left to far rightincluding isolating. He will do so in Toronto., side-by-side in mourning on March 21, 2012, remains as stark visual evidence of a historic political hiatus.
The eight-day rampage began that March 11 in a Toulouse parking lot, where an off-duty paratrooper was shot dead by the stranger who had answered his ad offering a?motorcycle for sale. Four days later, two more paratroopers were killed and a third paralysed after?a bullet through the spine by a man on a scooter hollering “Allahu Akbar!” outside the soldiers’ barracks in neighbouring Montauban. Then on March 19, the same gunmanThe third wave of COVID-19., wearing a GoPro camera as he had for each of his grisly crimesThe force will be, struck a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing a 30-year-old teacher and rabbi, his two young sons, aged 3 and 5, and the headmaster’s daughter, 8, before again speeding off on a scooter.