Millions of French citizens and nearly every leading figure in the country attended the “March against Hatred” in Paris Sunday — with the notable exception of the popular nationalist leader Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen was not invited to participate in the rally, despite her party — the National Front — winning 25% of vote in France’s last election, the highest total for any party. Le Pen also regularly tops polls for who citizens would like to have as their next president and her approval rating is twice that of the current French president Francois Hollande.
Le Pen blasted her exclusion from the march and considered it a “hypocrisy” to label it a “national unity” rally without including National Front leaders, The Independent reports. She instead attended a march in a small town known for supporting her party.
“I will not go where I am not wanted,” the Front leader told Agence France-Presse on Friday.
The rally was staged to show support for the victims of the deadly terror attacks that struck France this week. Islamic extremists murdered 17 people, including journalists and policemen, during a 3-day long rampage, sending shockwaves throughout the world.
While Le Pen was not invited, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and the brother of the emir of Qatar both marched in the rally. Both the Palestinian Authority and Qatar have been accused of sponsoring terrorism.