Critic of France's Hollande says it with dung

PARIS Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:31pm EST

French police and municipal workers walk near a large pile of manure sitting in front of the National Assembly in Paris January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

French police and municipal workers walk near a large pile of manure sitting in front of the National Assembly in Paris January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

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PARIS (Reuters) - A critic of President Francois Hollande and France's ruling elite dumped tonnes of horse manure in front of the national parliament building in Paris on Thursday in a pungent protest against French politics.

"Out with Hollande and the entire political class. Long live the Sixth Republic," read a message on the side of the man's articulated truck. France's present-day Fifth Republic was founded in 1958 with Charles de Gaulle its first president.

The unnamed perpetrator was detained by police before he was able to shed all of his truckload of dung at the steps of the Bourbon Palace, the building that houses the lower house of parliament on the edge of the Seine river in downtown Paris, witnesses said. Authorities began a mass clear-up operation.

Hollande, hit by magazine allegations of a love affair with an actress and battling to restore the fortunes of Europe's second-largest economy, has the lowest popularity ratings of any leader in modern-day France.

(Reporting by Emile Picy; Writing by Mark John; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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