NewsMarine Le Pen's rise: From father's shadow to far-right vanguard

Marine Le Pen's rise: From father's shadow to far‑right vanguard

Marine Le Pen did not have an easy childhood
Marine Le Pen did not have an easy childhood
Images source: © Getty Images | 2022 Antoine Gyori - Corbis
Agnieszka Woźniak

1 July 2024 19:22

- When he is hurt, he can be terribly brutal and violent in what he says - this is how Marine Le Pen speaks about her father. In 2011, she became the chairwoman of the nationalists, and four years later, she excluded her father from the party.

Commentators point out that the current elections are the most important in decades, as they have the potential to change everything. Their results will affect the national political scene, the European Union, and NATO.

The far-right National Rally triumphed in the first round of parliamentary elections in France. 33.2 percent of voters cast their ballots for Marine Le Pen's party, while the New People's Front obtained 28 percent of the votes.

55-year-old Marine Le Pen became a politician following in her father's footsteps. At a certain point, she took the party's reins and later excluded her parent. In conversations with journalists, she emphasised that he did not take it well.

Stepped out of the shadow

The politician recalls her childhood and adolescence as difficult. Olivier Beaumont, the author of a book on the Le Pen clan, wrote that the "brutal" parenting methods used on her made the future politician "extremely tough".

In 1976, when she was eight years old, a bomb exploded at her family's home in Paris. The target of the attack was Jean-Marie Le Pen. "That night I went to sleep like all little girls my age. But when I woke, I was no longer a little girl like the others," Le Pen wrote years later in her autobiography.

On the other hand, Cecile Alduy, an author of a book on Le Pen, explained that due to her controversial father, the future leader of the National Rally experienced ostracism from her peers and was not invited to their homes.

Young Le Pen was always in the spotlight. For several months, the topic of her parents' loud divorce did not leave the front pages of newspapers. It all took place in a scandalous atmosphere. Compromising photos of her mother appeared in "Playboy".

Though Marine did not have the best grades in school and even had to retake one of her secondary school exams, she eventually got into law school in Paris, where she began a career as a lawyer.

She developed her political career alongside her father. She consistently climbed to the top of the party's structures. Finally, in 2011, she became the chairwoman of the nationalists, based on the decision of the participants at the National Front congress.

Turbulent relationship with her father

Marine's main goal as the new chairwoman was to rebrand the National Front. Unfortunately, her father, the party's founder, was the biggest obstacle. The media frequently quoted his racist remarks.

The politician had no problem putting politics above family sentiment and decided to exclude her father from the party for repeated outrageous remarks about the Holocaust (such as calling it a "detail of history" and threatening hostile politicians with crematoria). He reacted to this very nervously.

Recently, however, she admitted that she owes a lot to her dad despite everything. She confessed it was thanks to him that she fell in love with politics. He passed onto her his love for France.

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