The Danish Prime Minister was assaulted in Copenhagen’s central square

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was assaulted in Copenhagen’s central square in the middle of the European election campaign.

Her office said the centre-left Prime Minister was “shocked” after Friday’s attack by a man in Kultorvet, one of Copenhagen’s main squares. Police said they arrested a 39-year-old man in connection with the assault and he will appear in court on Saturday afternoon. They declined to comment further on the case.

Some other details were immediately available. It was unclear whether the attack occurred during a campaign event for her Social Democratic party or was part of a private outing.

“The Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, was assaulted and beaten by a man today at Kultorvet in Copenhagen. Mette was naturally shocked by the attack. I must say, this shakes all of us who were close to her,” Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on social media platform X.

Politicians from all over of Denmark The political spectrum rushed to condemn the attack.

“It’s shocking that someone attacked and hit our prime minister,” said Morten Løkkegaard, the leading candidate in the European elections for the ruling center-right Freedom party.

“It is vital to our democracy that we can debate regardless of political views. . . violence and assault undermine public debate and therefore our democracy.”

“Democracy is vulnerable if we don’t take care of it,” said Inger Støjberg, head of the far-right Danish Democrats. The use of violence is absolutely reprehensible.”

Foreign leaders also condemned the attack. “An attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy,” said Ulf Kristersson, Sweden’s centre-right prime minister. Tonight, my thoughts and those of my family are with her.”

“The attack on the Danish prime minister tonight was appalling. Violence has no place in politics. Be strong, Mette!” said Roberta Metsola, president of the European parliament.

The attack on the Danish prime minister is the latest in a series of violent acts targeting European politicians recently. Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico was shot and was seriously injured last month, while several politicians in Germany have been assaulted in recent weeks.

Neighboring Sweden has suffered exceptional political violence for decades, with prime minister Olof Palme assassinated in 1986 and foreign minister Anna Lindh stabbed to death in 2003 ahead of a referendum on the use of Euro.

Frederiksen last year was considered the leading candidate to replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO secretary general but did not receive the approval of US President Joe Biden. More recently, she was considered the favorite for the leadership position in Brussels after this weekend’s European parliamentary elections.

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