Marine Le Pen seeks to prevent father’s run for office

Anthony Weiss

(JTA) — French politician Marine Le Pen said she would oppose allowing her father to run for office as a member of the far-right party he founded and she now leads.

Marine Le Pen, who heads the National Front party, announced on Wednesday that she would oppose the candidacy of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in regional elections in December, The Wall Street Journal reported. Her move came after the elder Le Pen slammed his daughter in an interview for criticizing his remarks diminishing the Holocaust.

Last week, Jean-Marie Le Pen told the far-right weekly Rivarol that he stood by his remark that the Nazi gas chambers were a “detail” of World War II, and accused his daughter of betrayal for criticizing him, according to The Guardian. He also defended the French Nazi collaborator Phillipe Petain and called on France to join Russia to defend the “white world.”

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Marine Le Pen, who has sought to gain mainstream acceptance for the anti-immigrant National Front by eliminating her father’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, responded by saying of her father, according to The Wall Street Journal, “His role as honorary president (of the party) doesn’t authorize him to take the National Front hostage, with crude provocation that seemingly aims to harm me but unfortunately deals a heavy blow to the whole movement.”

Party vice-president Florian Philippot, a Marine Le Pen ally, tweeted that the “political break with Jean-Marie Le Pen is now total and definitive,” according to the Guardian.

Marine Le Pen has called a meeting of the National Front’s executive committee for April 17 to discuss her father’s role in the party going forward.