Monday

3rd Aug 2020

Marine Le Pen moves to oust father despite court ruling

  • Marine Le Pen described her father's political jockeying as 'pathetic' (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

French nationalist Marine Le Pen of the National Front downplayed a court’s decision to reinstate her father’s party membership.

On Friday (3 July) she told French radio the ruling from a Nanterre court near Paris was “nothing but a political episode” that “has no importance.”

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The party is holding an online vote on new internal rules to cancel the honorary statute of president held by her father. Marine said a final decision on stripping the title from the internal rulebook would be made in eight days.

“If Mr Jean-Marie Le Pen defines himself at the end of his career uniquely by his little power trip of being annoying, it is pretty pathetic,” she added.

A court in the Paris suburb on Thursday ruled “the National Front must restore all of Mr Le Pen’s rights as a party member.”

Marine had in April booted her father out of the party after making comments downplaying a genocide that wiped out millions in Nazi Germany.

The 87-year-old had described gas chambers as a detail in history. He had also defended the collaborationist government of Marshall Philippe Petain.

He then took the party to court in June to challenge the membership suspension.

Jean-Marie, whose xenophobic views have led to convictions of hate speech in the past, co-founded the party four decades ago.

His daughter took over in 2011 and rebranded to make it more mainstream and more palpable for a wider electorate.

Her gamble to steer the party away from the more extremist and anti-semitic views of her father appeared to have so far paid off.

Her campaign against irregular migrants and Islamic fundamentalism helped propel the party into second place in local elections in March, ahead of the governing Socialists.

The far-right politician recently announced she will stand for regional elections in December. The result is likely to set the course of a possible presidential bid in 2017.

Earlier last month she became co-president of a newly formed group, Europe of Nations and Freedoms (ENF), at the European Parliament.

The group is composed of anti-EU firebrands, including MEPs from Le Pen's National Front, Wilders' Dutch PVV party, Austria's Freedom Party, Belgium's Vlaams Belang, and Italy's Lega Nord.

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