Europe

Le Pen feud: French court halts Front National vote

Jean-Marie Le Pen (left) and Marine Le Pen. Photo: 1 May 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Marine Le Pen (right) has made it clear she wants her father (left) out of politics

A French court has suspended a ballot by the far-right Front National party on whether to expel its honorary president, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Close to 51,000 party members were expected to vote by Friday on whether to scrap Mr Le Pen's honorary title.

The 87-year-old is locked in a feud with his daughter Marine, who now leads the party.

Marine Le Pen is trying to steer the FN away from its racist and anti-Semitic past.

It is the second time in a week that the court in Nanterre, west of Paris, has handed a victory to Mr Le Pen.


Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Le Pen said his critics had been proven wrong

Jean-Marie Le Pen: A career in controversy

  • 1987 - First makes his infamous remarks describing the Holocaust as a "detail of history"
  • 1997 - Assaults rival Annette Peulvast-Bergeal during parliamentary election campaign
  • 2006 - One of many convictions for inciting racial hatred over inflammatory remarks about France's Muslim population
  • 2007 - Tells Le Monde newspaper "you can't dispute the inequality of the races"
  • 2015 - Repeats views on the Holocaust, prompting Marine Le Pen to accuse him of trying to "rescue himself from obscurity"

A family feud on the French far-right

Le Pen family feud in quotes

A step closer to power for the FN?

From 'untouchables' to EU force


The feud between father and daughter erupted when Mr Le Pen repeated his view that the Holocaust was "a detail of history".

He was suspended by the party he helped found 43 years ago.

But, on 2 July, the court decided to overturn Mr Le Pen's suspension, ruling that the correct procedure had not been followed.

Mr Le Pen's lawyer, Frederic Joachim, told Le Monde on Wednesday the court had now ruled that an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the party must be held to discuss his client's position.

Mr Le Pen told the newspaper: "My critics have been proved wrong twice in a week.

"If there is an EGM, I will be one of the speakers."