AFP Jean-Marie Le Pen
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 02:29
Jean-Marie le Pen, the 94-year-old founder of the far-right French party Front National, has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack, French media report.
Le Pen was taken to a public hospital in the Paris region after he collapsed. Doctors describe his condition as “serious”.
“His family and loved ones are concerned, but calm,” said his adviser Lorrain de Saint Affrique. The former politician is conscious, according to De Saint Affrique. Le Pen has been hospitalized more often in recent years. Last February he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
Le Pen has not been active as a politician for several years, he retired in 2011. In 1972 he founded the National Front. With his own ideas and fascinations as pillars, which he always propagates in a good mood and tirelessly: racism, anti-Semitism and nationalism. Le Pen manages to stay in the news with provocative and polarizing statements, for which he has been sentenced to large fines on a number of occasions.
In 2002, he almost succeeded in becoming president of France. Five times he attempted to hold the highest office, and in 2002 he made it to the second round of the elections. In the end he had to lose out to Jacques Chirac.
After his retirement, his daughter Marine le Pen took over as leader. She changed the party’s name to Rassemblement National. She wanted to get rid of the racist and anti-Semitic image her father’s party had. In 2015, that even led to her father being expelled from the party.
In last year’s presidential election, she won 41.5 percent of the vote against President Emmanuel Macron. Never before has a radical right-wing candidate won so many votes in the French presidential election, including her father.