French President Francois Hollande (Photo:Reuters)
Twitter users mocked France's president Monday after he was drenched by rain while making a speech commemorating French resistance on the day the government collapsed, drawing gleeful comparisons with the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The images of Francois Hollande delivering his pre-arranged comments under a downpour, his glasses covered in droplets and raincoat soaked, came at a bad time for a president who had just ordered his prime minister to reshuffle the deeply unpopular government for the second time in five months.
"#IceBucketChallenge" one Twitter user posted next to a photo of a soggy Hollande, referring to the social media sensation which sees public figures nominate others to be doused in freezing water, to raise awareness of neurodegenerative disease ALS.
"Francois Hollande's Ice Bucket that lasts 10 minutes is amazing," @Batistuta_Binet joked.
"No one nominated him but he takes up the challenge anyway," @arnaudpicpic added.
The surprise cabinet reshuffle follows a high-profile show of insubordination by firebrand Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg and Education Minister Benoit Hamon that has highlighted deep divisions in the ruling Socialist party.
"Hollande won't have failed on everything during his five-year term, he won the Ice Bucket Challenge," @NRondepierre said, posting a picture of a smiling, drenched Hollande with the caption: "I nominate Arnaud Montebourg, Benoit Hamon and (Justice Minister) Christiane Taubira."
It is as yet unclear whether Montebourg and Hamon will remain in the new government line-up -- which is due to be announced on Tuesday -- but it appears increasingly unlikely.
"While Montebourg looks for a parachute, Hollande is in great need of an umbrella," @lerpierre joked.
Hollande was speaking on the Ile-de-Sein off the northwest coast of France, where the vast majority of the population refused to accept their country's occupation during World War II and fled to Britain to join the fight for France's liberation.