Long after his death, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s words will continue to echo in his daughter’s voice.
He won’t be ousted, but he will be silenced.
At least that’s what many members of the French National Front (FN) hope will happen to Jean-Marie Le Pen next week, when the executive board of the party he himself founded in 1972 is to decide on disciplinary action for his latest inflammatory remark — his declaration that the Holocaust was “a detail” of history.
At first, it seemed he might be excluded altogether from the FN, which he handed over to his now-fiercest censor, his daughter Marine Le Pen, in 2011. But in a goodwill gesture, he renounced his candidacy for the regional elections in southern France next December in favor of the party’s new darling, his granddaughter Marion Maréchal-Le Pen. Then — only fate could conjure such heavy symbolism — he suffered a minor heart problem last week. And so a formal “blame” and an injunction to stop speaking in the name of the party seem now enough to placate Marine Le Pen.