Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, niece of defeated French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and a National Front lawmaker, announced Tuesday that she will not run for re-election in the June legislative elections.
The decision means Maréchal-Le Pen -- the granddaughter of National Front founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen – will not hold the position of the party's southeastern region president.
In a letter published in a regional daily Tuesday, Maréchal-Le Pen, 27, confirmed reports of her decision and said it was due to an “emotional upheaval” underscored by “personal and political reasons”.
"You know my story, you know I've been in this political world all my life. At 27 [years old] it is time for me to leave it for some time," she told Le Dauphiné Libéré
newspaper on Tuesday. But she added that she was not giving up on her “political battle," suggesting a likely return to politics at a later date.
Referring to her daughter, Maréchal-Le Pen said, "I missed my little girl during her first precious years. She also missed me terribly. It is essential that I can devote more time to her.”
The far-right politician is one of only two National Front lawmakers in the outgoing parliament and is one of the best-known figures in the party.
While National Front officials did not immediately confirm the information, senior party official Bruno Gollnisch told reporters it was on the cards.
"I think it's in the works, but I will let her announce it if she wants to," he said.
The reports came just days after Le Pen was soundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in Sunday’s presidential poll. The National Front candidate won less than 35 percent of the vote, sparking questions about the future of the far-right party.
The younger Le Pen has long been known to hold more hardline positions than her aunt, which were silenced in the lead-up to Sunday’s vote in a bid to detoxify the party’s far-right positions.
However Le Pen’s defeat in the 2017 presidential polls reopened rumours of a rift within the party between aunt and niece.
In an interview with France 2 television on Sunday evening, shortly after the results were announced, Maréchal-Le Pen admitted that: "There are clearly lessons to be learned."
She also stated that her aunt’s anti-EU position had damaged the party’s prospects in the polls.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2017-05-09