The 1968 French elections, held on the heels of the May riots, gave the Gaullist UDR and the Right generally a parliamentary majority. Everyone knew—as Edgar Faure, prominent member of the majority, said—that the primary cause of this success was fear. At political meetings UDR candidates showed films of the Paris riots. Burned-out automobiles and the Nanterre disorders were effective campaign arguments.
After the elections and the formation of the Chaban-Delmas government, Minister of the Interior Raymond Marcellin—though taking a firm stand in prosecuting those involved in public disturbances—had mixed designs. He wanted to curb unrest in order to ease the electorate and to demonstrate the government’s strength. Ye...
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