• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French far-right 'barred' from national unity rally

AFP · 9 Jan 2015, 10:29

Published: 08 Jan 2015 20:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2015 10:29 GMT+01:00

France’s politicians were not able to show their new found unity for long.

Just a day after the Charlie Hebdo shooting left 12 dead and had politicians calling for the country to unite, a row between politicians broke out after the National Front were not invited to take part in Sunday’s rally for “national unity” in Paris.

For her part Marine Le Pen was furious that the party, who came out on top in the European elections last May, was “excluded” from the march.

“It is very clear,” Le Pen said. “They say that the Front National (FN) are not welcome to a meeting where every other party is invited. There is no longer national unity, it’s disappeared because of their actions.”

The party also fired out a tweet saying: “"The first party of France excluded from the demonstration! It's a moral fault.”

The rally is expected to see François Hollande line up alongside his old adversary Nicolas Sarkozy at the head of the March and will see politicians and elected officials from all mainstream parties, at least take to the streets.

Some however believe it’s a mistake that the Front National have not been invited, even if the party is known for anti-immigration views and its desire to resist the influence of Islam in France.

Former Prime Minister François Fillon said: “"Our best response is the total unity of the country. We can't have any dissenting voices.”

His UMP party were opposed to the exclusion of the National Front, as were many others.

“It’s a mistake, we should unite everyone and not judge people by their political colours,” Imam Farid Darrouf told The Guardian newspaper. “Everyone should participate to say no to this barbarism. Division can only feed the fanatics.”

François Lamy from the ruling Socialist Party explained why The National Front has not been invited to take part.

Story continues below…

“We are inviting all political forces, republican and democratic... We are not inviting organisations that divide the country, stigmatise our fellow Muslims and play on their their fears,” Lamy told Le Monde.

National Front members are still of course entitled to attend, whether they will or not remains to be seen.

What is certain is that tens of thousands of French people are expected to march on Sunday in the name of unity, even their political leaders have been unable to show it.

Today's headlines
Aussie TV show accused of staging French burkini row
Photo: Channel 7 screengrab

Was an Australian TV report about France's burkini ban a set up to portray the French as "anti-Muslim"?

Five ways Paris is better than it was 15 years ago
All photos: AFP

Here's how one man says Paris has changed for the better over his last 15 years in the city.

Man in 60s wounds two in France supermarket shooting
Photo: AFP

A police SWAT team has surrounded gunman's apartment.

Paris makes 'history' by banning cars on river bank

The French capital is going green with a vengeance.

France's hospital doctors stage strike to highlight crisis
Photo: AFP

Unions have called for a "massive" walk-out among hospital doctors.

France's last 'real Camembert' cheese fights for survival
All photos: Charly Triballeau/AFP

It's a cheese maker's take on David and Goliath.

PSG's Serge Aurier sentenced to jail for attack on policeman
Photo: AFP

PSG player had attacked a police officer outside a night club on the Champs Elysées.

Paris city chiefs ready to let nudists hang out in park
Photo: AFP

A nudist park in Paris? "We're going to do it," says City Hall.

Hollande calls on UK to help solve Calais migrant crisis
Photo: AFP

The French president knows that immigration is a key issue of the presidential election battle.

Air France plane dumps fuel 'over Fontainebleau forest'
Photo: AFP

The mayor of the famous town near Paris is furious.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
National
Paris set to make river bank car-free for six-month trial
2,725
jobs available