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The drama in the extraordinarily public family feud at the top of France's National Front party continued Tuesday as its founder accused his daughter – who is now president of the organization – of treating him in a “scandalous” way.
National Front President Marine Le Pen is pressing to silence her 86-year-old father from the party he founded, but Jean-Marie Le Pen, a disruptive force in French politics for decades, is not going away easily.
On Tuesday, 12 hours after the party's executive bureau suspended his party membership for repeating anti-Semitic comments, Jean-Marie Le Pen said he was ashamed that his daughter bears his name and urged her to marry her companion in order to change her name.
"She is treating her father and the founding president of the National Front in an absolutely scandalous way," he said on Europe 1 radio. "I tell her, 'Get married. That would allow you to change your name. It would ease my conscience.'"
The running father-daughter feud escalated into a political crisis after the party decision Monday to suspend the senior Le Pen for reiterating anti-Semitic remarks that got him convicted in French courts in the past.
Jean-Marie Le Pen repeated his view that Nazi gas chambers were a mere “detail” of World War II and also defended Philippe Petain, the leader of the French wartime government that cooperated with Nazi Germany, according to Sky News.
The party's executive bureau gave itself three months to sound out all party members on whether to abolish Le Pen's title of honorary president for life of the National Front. It cannot remove him from his seat in the European Parliament.
Jean-Marie Le Pen helped found the anti-immigration National Front party in 1972, building it into a feared political force and a kingmaker in French elections. Marine Le Pen, for her part, has worked to change the party's image to draw in more voters since her father passed the leadership to her at a 2010 congress.
In a dig that potentially is still more harmful, if not hurtful, to Marine Le Pen, the senior Le Pen said now he wouldn't even vote for his daughter to be president of France — her chief ambition — "because if such moral principles should preside over the French state, it would be scandalous."
France's next presidential election is in 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.