World

French far-right anoints candidates amid party crisis that forced founding father from running

  • France's National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen smiles at journalists as she leaves a meeting of the Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. French far right symbol Jean-Marie Le Pen announced Monday that he will not run in upcoming regional elections. The move follows party chief Marine Le Pen's refusal to back her father as a candidate in a key region in southern France. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    France's National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen smiles at journalists as she leaves a meeting of the Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. French far right symbol Jean-Marie Le Pen announced Monday that he will not run in upcoming regional elections. The move follows party chief Marine Le Pen's refusal to back her father as a candidate in a key region in southern France. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen attends a meeting of the Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. French far right symbol Jean-Marie Le Pen announced Monday that he will not run in upcoming regional elections. The move follows party chief Marine Le Pen's refusal to back her father as a candidate in a key region in southern France. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    France's National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen attends a meeting of the Committee on International Trade at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. French far right symbol Jean-Marie Le Pen announced Monday that he will not run in upcoming regional elections. The move follows party chief Marine Le Pen's refusal to back her father as a candidate in a key region in southern France. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

France's far-right National Front is meeting to anoint candidates for regional elections amid a party crisis that forced founder Jean-Marie Le Pen from running.

Le Pen's granddaughter, rising star Marion Le Pen, was assured of backing at Friday's meeting to replace him in the southern region in the December voting.

Party president Marine Le Pen said on national television last week that she would oppose her father's candidacy after he made anti-Semitic remarks, repeating that the Nazi gas chambers were a "detail" in World War II history and praising Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain. He risks disciplinary action in the weeks ahead.

Marine Le Pen is striving to make the party voter-friendly, and it has chalked up electoral successes.

The public feud threw the party into one of its worst crises.