France: FN chair distances herself from her father's remarks
Marine Le Pen, the head of the nationalist Front National (FN) in France, has taken down a video channel on the party's website in which her father, FN honorary chair Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been regularly commenting on current events. The decision came after Mr Le Pen outraged the public with yet another obviously anti-Semitic remark on Friday.
Today the French media are reporting that Le Pen feels betrayed by his daughter. In his most recent performance on the website, Le Pen criticized several artists for their public stance against the FN.
The artists labeled the party dangerous and ultra-right. While discussing the singer Patrick Bruel, who is known to be Jewish, the seasoned FN politician said "we'll do an oven load next time" and then laughed.
A wave of protest arose around the country in response to the remarks, and even Marine Le Pen has now publicly distanced herself from her father's words. "My daughter has stabbed me in the back. It is she who has created this problem. If she had just stayed quiet, this polemic wouldn't have lasted longer than six hours. I have no intention of changing at the age of 85. If I turn people off, they can kill me, but I won't commit suicide for them. I want to warn you all in advance that if some sort of accident happens to me soon, it won't be by through my own will," the website LesInrocks quoted Mr Le Pen as saying in an article entitled "War declared between Jean-Marie and his daughter".
Mr Le Pen has already been convicted several times of disseminating racial hatred and denying Nazi crimes, specifically for a statement in which he dismissed the gas chambers in the Nazi extermination camps as "details of history". Since taking over the party leadership in January 2011, Marine Le Pen, who is an MEP, has been doing her best to rid the FN of the extremist reputation it earned when her father was in charge.
Her strategy contributed to the party's good results in the 2012 presidential elections and to the FN's victory in the recent elections to the European Parliament. The FN won 25 % of the French vote, and Marine Le Pen believes they can be very successful during the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2017.
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