Jean-Marie Le Pen Joins Far-Right Alliance
On Thursday, Jean-Marie Le Pen — who founded France's far-right National Front before being thrown out by his own daughter — said that he had joined what has been up to now an obscure collection of far-right European political parties.
Le Pen, who is 89 years old, confirmed that he had joined the Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF). He further said that he joined the alliance on March 22.
In response to the news of him joining, the APF issued a statement in which they said that they were pleased to welcome Le Pen at a time when monumental changes were taking place all across Europe. They further called him both their leader and their guide in what they believe will be future campaigns and victories, and they added that he was an example to them of both clarity and fortitude. They went on to say that, while tired and dated left-wing policies were becoming extinct in the East and were at least being questioned in the West, the time had come for the advancement of policies based on the ideals of tradition as well as national sovereignty and identity.
In 2004, Le Pen was elected to the European Parliament as a member of the National Front, but he has since been an independent. He declined to issue a statement in regards to him joining the APF.
Since the APF does not yet have enough elected members in the European Parliament to be considered a recognized group there, its members currently serve in the body as unaffiliated legislators. Among the parties associated with the APF are the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), the DSSS in the Czech Republic and the Forza Nuova Party of Italy.
In 2015, Le Pen was dramatically expelled from his own party by his daughter Marine. She did this because her father reiterated his view that Nazi gas chambers were a mere detail of history. He also defended the Vichy regime, which notoriously collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. He had further come to be known for expressing an assortment of convictions that many call hate speech, and he has verbally attacked both Muslims and Romas.
In spite of his expulsion, Le Pen was still the honorary president of the National Front up until last month. It was then that his daughter changed the party statutes, as she continues to try to change the image of a party that has long been tainted as being antisemitic.
Le Pen has already stated that he does not intend to run for reelection to the European Parliament in 2019.
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