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National Front in run-off to take northern French town hall

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-29

France's far-right National Front party, led by the controversial Jean-Marie le Pen and seconded by his daughter Marine (pictured), took 39% of the town council vote Sunday in the town of Henin-Beaumont.

AFP - France's far-right National Front party was Monday in pole position to take its first town council in more than a decade after winning the first round of voting in Henin-Beaumont.
  
Jean-Marie Le Pen's party list took 39 percent of the vote Sunday in the northern town, far ahead of a left-wing list on 20 percent. The second round of the by-election takes place next Sunday.
  
The town has had no mayor since April after the incumbent Socialist was charged with embezzling four million euros (5.6 million dollars), nepotism and other offences.
  
Le Pen's daughter Marine Le Pen was number two on the party's list in Henin-Beaumont.
  
The National Front has not won control of a town hall in France since local elections in 1995 gave its candidates several councils in the south.
  
Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has several past convictions for racism and anti-semitism, shocked Europe in 2002 by coming in second in the French presidential election.

Date created : 2009-06-29

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