Yesterday Jean-Marie Le Pen, president of the Front National from 1972 to 2011 was due in front of a disciplinary board, risking being ostracised from the party for a stream of recent controversial remarks. However, in typical Jean-Marie style and unwavering stubbornness, he refused to appear before the board. Nevertheless later that day his suspension from the party was announced. As Marine is speculated to run for president in 2017, internal family disputes of the national front have created questions over her ability to run not only a successful mainstream party, but ultimately the country.
The last few months have been dramatic to say the least for the Front National and its central family dynamic. The president Marine Le Pen has denounced her father’s statements that gas chambers were a mere ‘detail’ of history and France should join with Russia to protect the ‘white-world’, whilst her father Jean-Marie responded with comments that his daughter wished him dead. Having already refused to support his candidacy in polls later this year, Marine has gone against many of her traditional right wing voters loyal to her father. Clearly Marine is treading a fine line between gaining more moderate voters without losing her traditional support, Jean-Marie’s suspension yesterday has not aided this situation.
But with Jean-Marie in the headlines again, does this go to prove that Marine is unable to escape her father’s shadow or have her firm and decisive actions showed the French public that she is a strong leader?