A mayor of western Sydney was allegedly assaulted outside a polling station on Saturday in an ugly postscript to the NSW council election.
Police have charged a 29-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou outside a Merryland school.
Officers were called to Fowler Road School around 6 p.m. 17.00 after reports of an alleged assault.
Video of the incident posted online shows Mr Christou, in an orange shirt, in a heated verbal and physical altercation with a man in a white shirt and gray shorts.
Christou was allegedly assaulted before spectators intervened to break the incident.
NSW police said it has been alleged that Mr Christou was threatened and assaulted before the man left the scene.
A 29-year-old man was arrested Saturday night at a Merrylands business before being taken to Granville police station and charged with assault.
He will appear in Fairfield Local Court next month.
In a statement, Christou thanked all the people who were concerned for his well-being after the incident.
“I’m getting home and feeling good,” he said.
“Since this incident is under police investigation, I am not able to comment further on this case, but I will say that yesterday we saw the ugly side of politics.”
He said it was a sad accusation against politics in Australia.
“I did not know this person and did nothing to antagonize him. There is never any justification for violence and people should respect each other’s views.
“This is not the Australia I know and love. I look forward to the results of the police.”
Meanwhile, City of Sydney Mayor Clover Moore is set to be returned for a fifth term despite suffering a major swing towards her.
Moore has led the council for 17 years and on Saturday attracted 43.6 percent of the vote.
She was returned despite suffering a 14.2 percent turn against her, and independent Yvonne Weldon received 16.1 percent of the vote.