French Presidential Election 2017 | Emmanuel Macron to beat Le Pen with 61.0%
- Author: Zachary Reyes Feb 23, 2017,
Feb 23, 2017, 5:34
Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen canceled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with one of Lebanon's top Muslim leaders because she refused to wear a headscarf. "There is no viable and plausible solution other than this binary choice, which is Bashar al-Assad on one hand and the Islamic state on the other hand", she said.
The MEP is now on a two-day visit to Lebanon where she is courting votes from those with dual nationality ahead of the first round of the Presidential election in April.
Le Pen's visit marked the National Front leader's first official meeting with a foreign head of state.
The conservative candidate in France's presidential race, former premier Francois Fillon, has also been hit by allegations that his wife was paid for years as his assistant in the French parliament but never actually worked there. Many Lebanese fled to France, Lebanon's former colonial power, during their country's 1975-1990 civil war and became French citizens.
If elections were held today, the polling data indicates that she would win the first round, though go down to defeat in the second round, a runoff with the centrist Emmanuel Macron.
Le Pen is on a four-day visit to Lebanon, where she already met Christian President Michel Aoun and Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
"It's because Marine Le Pen has been able to, in the last 10 years, to portray herself as the victim of the media in France", she said.
Le Pen, running a populist campaign seeking to overturn France's elite, is no stranger to controversy.
Brussels investigators claim Le Pen paid her bodyguard, Thierry Légier, more than €41,500 between October and December 2011, by falsely claiming he was an European Union parliamentary assistant.
Shunned by European leaders over her party's stance on immigration and its anti-EU message, Le Pen's meeting with Aoun aimed to boost her global credibility.
"For the second time, a raid took place at the same offices, over the same allegations, which confirms that the first raid amounted to nothing", the party said in a statement.
Ms Le Pen and father Jean-Marie Le Pen. She replaced her father as president in 2011.
Le Pen's comments provoked criticism on the issue of her support for Assad.