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France's Jean-Marie Le Pen Withdraws From Regional Vote

  • VOA News

FILE - France's far-right National Front political party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen speaks to journalists at a news conference in Marseille March 27, 2014.

FILE - France's far-right National Front political party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen speaks to journalists at a news conference in Marseille March 27, 2014.

The founder of France's far right National Front (FN) party said he will not run for office in regional polls later this year after a damaging public spat with his daughter, who is now the group's leader.

Jean-Marie Le Pen told Le Figaro magazine that he would not seek office even though he still thinks he is the “best candidate."

Marine Le Pen was upset with her father last week when he described the Nazi gas chambers as a mere "detail of history."

Scores of FN candidates won seats on local councils last month in regional elections.

The wins are seen as the beginning of grassroots support for the presidential campaign for Marine Le Pen who has been outspoken in her views against immigration and the integration of Islam into French society.

After the regional elections in March, Prime Minister Manuel Valls the said the FN party's gains were "too high," and acknowledged that the FN wins represented a "setback" for the Socialists and President Francois Hollande.

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