France's Le Pen chalks up another legal victory in feud with daughter

28th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the veteran ex-leader of France's National Front (FN), on Tuesday won a legal victory in a battle over his expulsion from the far-right party amid a festering feud with his daughter.

Daughter Marine, now leading the party her father founded, launched a postal ballot earlier this month on whether to change the FN's statutes and scrap Jean-Marie's position as honorary president.

A furious Jean-Marie successfully sued the party at a court in Nanterre west of Paris, which ruled earlier this month that the ballot should be suspended.

The FN appealed the decision but a higher court in Versailles on Tuesday upheld the ruling, handing a further legal triumph to the veteran provocateur.

The court said the ballot remained suspended "until the organisation of a general assembly that conforms to current statutes".

It is the third legal victory for Jean-Marie Le Pen during an unseemly spat with Marine, who ejected her father from the party in May after he made controversial remarks about Nazi gas chambers.

Le Pen reacted triumphantly to his win.

"I founded the National Front, I led it for 40 years and I am still one of its leaders, honorary president," he said.

The FN in a statement expressed its "surprise" at "a series of court decisions that aim to preserve a title that Jean-Marie Le Pen obviously no longer deserves, given his increasingly unspeakable behaviour."

Marine Le Pen decided enough was enough after her father repeated his view that the Nazi gas chambers were merely a "detail" of history and also claimed France had to get along with Russia to save the "white world".

In March, the elder Le Pen was suspended from the party.

The suspension was later cancelled by a court, which found it "violated statutory rules" by not specifying it was a temporary measure pending a disciplinary procedure.

The FN is appealing that ruling.

Le Pen senior's laywer Frederic Joachim on Tuesday called on the party to "learn from the lessons" of its legal setbacks.

"They have to stop this war," he said.

© 2015 AFP

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