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Le Pen's replacement turns down party role amid Holocaust controversy

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 01:45

The man due to temporarily replace French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen as head of the far-right National Front party refuses the job over allegations he made questionable comments about the Holocaust. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

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Its record on the fate of Jews in World War Two back to haunt France's National Front. Earlier this week presidential candidate Marine Le Pen stood down - temporarily - as the leader of the far-right party and now the man earmarked to fill her shoes is suddenly doing the same. Jean-Francois Jalkh accused of making questionable remarks about Nazi gas chambers. (SOUNDBITE) (French) NATIONAL FRONT MEMBER AND MARINE LE PEN'S PARTNER, LOUIS ALIOT, SAYING: "He (Jalkh) feels that the climate is not conducive for him to carry out this interim role. He wants to defend himself and he will be filing a legal complaint because he feels that his honour has been attacked and I can tell you that he firmly and formally contests what he is accused of" Steve Briois, the mayor of Le Pen's flagship town Henin-Beaumont, will take his place. Jalkh's abrupt exit awakening the ghosts from the Front's past, reviving the outcry sparked by Le Pen's father when he called the Nazi gas chambers a 'detail' of history. Leading his daughter to expel him from the party, an effort to cleanse the National Front's image of xenophobic and anti-semitic associations. As Le Pen grappled with the potentially damaging turn of events, presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron headed to a village that has been preserved as it was when SS soldiers killed nearly all of its inhabitants in 1944. Oradour-sur-Glane, a "frozen-in-time" memorial to over six-hundred men, women and children. At the end of the first week of campaigning polls continue to have centrist Macron in a convincing lead. Beating Le Pen in the final ballot with 60 percent of the vote. Accusations of Holocaust denial unlikely to help her turn that around.

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Le Pen's replacement turns down party role amid Holocaust controversy

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 01:45