Re: French Far-Right Leader: Riots Only the Start
Jean-Marie Le Pen
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Portrait of Jean-Marie Le Pen.Jean-Marie Le Pen (born June 20, 1928) is a controversial French politician. He is the president of the nationalist and reactionary party Front National.
Almost all commentators, parties, etc. outside of the National Front consider the National Front and Le Pen to be far-right. Le Pen disputes the far-right qualification; at times, he has declared that his party was "neither Right, neither Left, but French"; at other times, he has stated that his party was right-wing and that the French parties generally considered to be right-wing were not truly so. He claims that most of the French political and media class are corrupt and out of touch with the real needs of the common people, and conspire to exclude Le Pen and his party from mainstream politics.
Le Pen is known for advocating tough law enforcement policies, possibly including the reinstatement of the death penalty; strong restrictions on immigration to France from countries outside Europe; and withdrawal or at least far greater independence from the European Union. Jean-Marie Le Pen has, at times, made remarks considered to be racist and antisemitic, though, in recent years, he has been careful not to use controversial rhetoric prior to elections.
He has run in several French presidential elections, qualifying for the second-round of the 2002 election, where he challenged current president Jacques Chirac.