Le Pen's niece says will not seek re-election as French MP

Katrina Barker
May 10, 2017

Marine Le Pen's niece and presumed political heiress, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, said Tuesday she's quitting political life, prompting her grandfather and National Front party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen to call her move a "desertion" after the presidential defeat.

Marine Le Pen's defeat in Sunday's presidential election against centrist Emmanuel Macron has triggered a rare public display of disagreement at the top of the far-right party.

The 27-year-old, one of only two National Front (FN) lawmakers in the outgoing parliament and a popular figure among the party faithful, said in a letter to the Le Dauphine Libere newspaper that she would be leaving political life for a while for personal and political reasons.

Her decision follows the huge loss by her aunt, Marine Le Pen, at the French presidential election on Sunday where the anti-EU candidate won just 33.9 per cent of the vote. The National Front leader also said that the French political landscape is "split" between the "patriots" and the "globalists" and called on all French "patriots" to join her new political movement.

But the 27-year-old politician, seen as a rising star in the FN, said she will not be standing for re-election in next month's legislative contests. In 2015, Maréchal-Le Pen told the Guardian, "I'm here for the long term".

"Le Pen wants to dilute its National Front party with a bad legacy in a major patriotic movement".

Ms Marechal-Le Pen was tipped to replace her aunt as the leader of the Front National after the presidential hopeful stepped down to focus on her campaign. She said she wanted to spend more time with her young daughter and been interested in working in civil society "for some time" because she "loves the world of business".

In her letter, she suggested she would return to political life one day. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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