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Le Pen vs. Le Pen
So Long, Pops

French politician Marine Le Pen has gotten rid of the biggest obstacle facing her far-right political party Front National in its bid to become a more electable party: her father. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the firebrand who founded the FN and is known for his anti-Semitic and racist remarks, was expelled by the party’s leadership on Thursday. It was reportedly quite the kiss-off, though Marine herself didn’t show. WSJ:

Mr. Le Pen was summoned before the party’s executive committee at its headquarters in the Paris suburbs of Nanterre after he reiterated comments he made 25 years ago playing down the Holocaust.

The committee voted to exclude Mr. Le Pen, said a National Front spokeswoman. “The full decision, including its reasoning, will be sent shortly to Mr. Le Pen,” she added. […]

Changing gears, on Aug. 4 Ms. Le Pen sent her father a list of grievances, detailing contentious comments he had made and instructing him to face the disciplinary hearing. Ms. Le Pen didn’t attend the meeting.

After a spate of recent political victories, Ms. Le Pen is expected to be at least a contender in the 2017 presidential race. She faces an important local election later this year, when she will run for president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, which includes the now-infamous port of Calais. Near the port thousands of migrants live in makeshift camps, awaiting a chance to cross into Britain and Calais is at the center of France’s white hot debate about immigration.

Immigration is one of the issues buoying the popularity of far-right parties in Europe and it will continue to be a flashpoint as the number of migrants from the Middle East and Africa keeps rising. Still, the FN’s prospects for taking the presidency remain an outside shot, and Daddy Dearest probably won’t get to visit his ungrateful daughter in the Élysée Palace. But who knows? Given the restlessness and hopelessness of Europe, the FN will likely have political legs for a while yet.

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