On this moment, Marine Le Pen should regret her father is still alive! In the far-right weekly, Rivarol, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the Front national founder and ex-leader, honorary chairman of the political party, stated Marshall Philippe Pétain, head of “Etat français” did not betrayed France and his values during the World War II. He also stated he understood democracy could be tackled.
Some FN executives promptly reacted and condemned the former leader. Marine Le Pen announced her father will not be candidate in Provence for the next regional elections held at the end of 2015 anymore and Louis Alliot, MEP and Marine Le Pen’s partner, took his distance with his father-in-law due to his points of view.
It is not the first time Marine Le Pen is embarrassed by her father and it is not the first time, Jean-Marie says provocative statements in the press. On the last week, he affirmed gas rooms were a detail of the History, as in 1987 when the former leader was sentenced for contesting war crimes, crimes against humanity and the existence of the Holocaust. Before, he tackled Patrick Bruel, a French singer, referring to his Jewish religion and made some statements more or less provocative.
Jean-Marie Le Pen is a nostalgic man who did not support the evolution of the Front national anymore finally. Since her daughter is the leader, the far right party is experiencing a huge mutation and clearly wants to appear as a movement able to lead France. To reach this goal, Marine Le Pen is trying to polish the image and restoring the reputation of the party, putting “cleaner” personalities forward as Florian Phillipot and Gilbert Collard, new symbols and spokespersons of the new FN. The new FN wants to break up with the former FN led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, clearly racist and provocative. Contrary to him, Marine Le Pen wishes to be seen as an alternative, a new solution vis-à-vis the “UMPS” system she nicknamed to denounce the so-called collusion between the Socialist Party and the conservative UMP.
But the inopportune Jean-Marie Le Pen’s statements are now a real political issue for Marine Le Pen insofar so as it questions the FN’s well-made strategy. In the context of the crisis, Marine Le Pen and her party were considered as alternative solution by 1 out 4 French citizens. Her leader managed to give another image, another reputation, tackling the reputation made by her father.
Marine Le Pen has no other solutions and knows she has to make a difficult solution by killing her father politically speaking. Indeed, if she wishes to succeed her strategy of “dédiabolisation” (means giving another and more respectful image of her party), she has to take her distance with her father and disapprove him definitely. She knows Jean-Marie Le Pen, due to his behaviour, is spoiling all the strategy she built to get the power.
But will Marine be able to condemn her father without her sacrificing her family and the special link she has with her father so far? Fifteen years ago, the oldest Jean-Marie Le Pen’s daughter decided to join Bruno Megret’s dissident political movement. The FN leader never forgave her and he might get the same reaction if the youngest, Marine decides to force him to leave politics. It is the price to pay to get the power and Marine is clearly aware of this.