She is the new face of the Le Pen clan.
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the 22-year-old grand-daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the grand dragon on France’s far right, will run for parliament in June, according to the Paris daily Le Parisien.
Currently a law-student, Maréchal-Le Pen’s aunt, Marine Le Pen, took a fifth of the vote in Sunday’s first-round of the presidential elections in France, the highest-ever score for the Front National in its 40-year history.
Maréchal-Le Pen tells Le Parisien that her campaign in the southeastern town of Carpentras to restore the honour of her grandfather. In 1990, the Front National, broadly associated with anti-Semitic and racist themes, was accused of desecrating a Jewish cemetery there.
“This candidacy is a bit a way of rehabilitating him. His honour was sullied in this matter but it was never cleaned in public,” Maréchal-Le Pen was quoted as saying.
Maréchal-Le Pen unsuccessfully ran for regional office in 2010. The national broadcaster France 3 aired this interview with her before the vote:
According to Reuters, the elder Le Pen, who passed the leadership of the party he founded to his daughter Marine last year, had himself been expected to run in Carpentras, which is north of Marseille.
“I won’t be a candidate for the parliamentary elections,” Le Pen was quoted as saying. said. “I will soon go there [Carpentras] and present Marion and all the candidates in the Vaucluse region. I will help her campaign.”
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The news agency said about 30 per cent in the town voted for the National front in Sunday, putting the party narrowly behind that of incumbent French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. It is the only town in France to have a local council from the far-right party.
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