‘Partnership with the Nazis’ will not define Marine Le Pen’s presidential bid

French far-right leader to travel to Poland to mourn the victims, including the family of her father’s wartime collaborator

Polls show Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front (FN), could come close to winning France’s presidential election on Sunday but would still face a national election next year on whether to implement France’s exit from the EU.

She already has plans for a follow-up on Europe, with a visit planned for Warsaw to speak at Warsaw University.

Political analysts see FN as unlikely to win power but it is likely to play a big role in the 2017 legislative elections, calling for the expulsion of foreigners and for France to end financial and financial support for EU institutions.

The group proposes a radical programme to give back powers to the French parliament, putting it at odds with France’s current political configuration which is dominated by the two main parties, the Socialists and the conservatives.

Earlier this year Le Pen called her father Jean-Marie, now expelled from the FN, a “class traitor” and others call him a hate figure, and said she was “embarrassed” by him.

The nationalist Marine Le Pen described him as a “former soldier, former president and who in wartime was a collaborator with the Nazis”.

Marine Le Pen to honour Vichy collaborators – live Read more

“You have a choice, one is to condemn or to remember,” she said in a speech in March. “[The FN] proposes different options – a return to our roots, a return to nationalism, the return to truth, dignity, freedom and patriotism.”

On Thursday, a source in the party told Reuters Le Pen would travel to Warsaw to pay tribute to “those who died in the Holocaust, from Polish Jews to Polish citizens, and the partisan fighter who fought the Nazis”.

Poland became a battleground of the second world war during the German occupation of France when Philippe Petain, France’s wartime president, collaborated with the Nazis.

Jean-Marie Le Pen remains a lawyer with the FN, a position he has held since the party’s inception in 1972.

His daughter was presented to the media in Paris on Thursday in the headquarters of Bastian Comte d’Albacete, a former teacher in France’s northern Lorraine region.

“One can think that the school I taught in was a Nazi military school, because those words, those initials, were written in all my books. My tears, my mind, I blame,” he said.

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