(Paris) The former president of the far-right French party National Front (now National Rally) Jean-Marie Le Pen was hospitalized after a “slight heart attack” on Saturday, we learned from his entourage.
“Jean-Marie Le Pen was hospitalized in a public establishment in the Paris region. His family and loved ones are worried but calm,” said his adviser Lorrain de Saint Affrique, reporting that Mr. Le Pen, a historic figure on the French far right, is “aware” and surrounded.
Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the National Front (FN) in 1972, which has since become the National Rally (RN) led until November by his daughter Marine, second in the presidential election of 2022 (41.5%) against Emmanuel Macron.
Her 94-year-old father has been hospitalized several times in recent years. In February 2022, he was hospitalized following a mild form of stroke.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was a five-time candidate for the French presidential election, managing to reach the second round in 2002, only to be beaten by Jacques Chirac with an overwhelming score.
Born June 20, 1928 in La Trinité-sur-Mer in western France and graduated in law, he was a legionnaire during the wars in Indochina (1953) and Algeria (1957).
Elected in 1956 to the National Assembly, he was defeated in the legislative elections of 1962 and experienced a long journey through the desert.
He was appointed in 1972 to head a new party which brought together neo-fascists: the National Front, and developed his favorite theme there: “one million unemployed is one million immigrants too many”, accusing the latter to take advantage of social assistance to the detriment of the French.
In 1984, he was elected MEP, then in the legislative elections of 1986, won a seat in the National Assembly.
He was dismissed in April 2000 from the mandate of regional councilor of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (south-east), after his sentence to one year of ineligibility for violence against a socialist candidate for the legislative elections of 1997, one of his many legal disputes.
In 1998, his party split but the FN succeeded in establishing itself as the main far-right movement.
The “Menhir” has never confessed regret for its slippages which have earned it several court convictions: from the gas chambers considered a “detail of history”, to “the inequality of races” (1996 ), to the “not particularly inhumane” German Occupation (2005).
In the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where he has been elected several times, he will try, he says, “to defend France against Europe, against the abuses of the European Union”.
The youngest of his three daughters, Marine, inherited the party in 2011. She has long said that she “assumes the entire inheritance”, but she is finally exceeded by this father who has become embarrassing to “de-demonize” the party. Marine Le Pen ended up expelling her father in 2015 after repeated controversial comments about the Holocaust.
After the historic breakthrough of the RN in the legislative elections last June, with 89 seats, he deplored “a certain media absence” of the RN deputies led by his daughter, calling on them to “react” by being “aggressive towards power”. .