NF co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen to leave European Parliament

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In this file photo taken on May 19, 2015, French European Parliament member and French far-right Front National (FN) party honorary president Jean-Marie Le Pen takes part in a voting session at the European Parliament.Frederick FLORIN / AFP

Jean-Marie Le Pen is making his farewell to the European Parliament on Tuesday even if, the nonagenarian dreamed of being re-elected, “like Molière who wanted to die on the stage”.

The co-founder of the National Front, which he chaired for nearly 40 years before bequeathing it to his daughter Marine in 2011, was elected seven times in a row to the Strasbourg assembly He was also a deputy in France for two years from 1986 to 1988.

Far-right figurehead

In parliament, Jean-Marie Le Pen was “the figurehead of the European far-right and its main speaker”, sitting in the same group as the Italian neo-fascist party MSI, which “had very little interest in Strasbourg,” political scientist Jean-Yves Camus said.

Excluded from the FN in 2015 after his comments on the gas chambers, it is unlikely he would have traction in the parliament as it is now.

Source: RFI, Politico