Marion Maréchal-Le Pen

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Marion Maréchal-Le Pen
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen in April 2012
Member of the French Parliament
for Vaucluse's 3rd constituency
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 June 2012
Preceded by Jean-Michel Ferrand
Majority 18 920 (42.09%)[1]
Personal details
Born (1989-12-10) December 10, 1989 (age 25)
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines
Nationality French
Political party Front National (2008–present)
Relations Jean-Marie Le Pen (grandfather)
Marine Le Pen (aunt)
Residence Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine[2]
Alma mater Panthéon-Assas University, Master of Laws (2012)
Occupation Politician
Religion Roman Catholicism[3]
Website Marion Maréchal-Le Pen

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (French pronunciation: ​[maʁjɔ̃ maʁeʃal ləˈpɛn]; born 10 December 1989) is a French politician, a member of the Front National (FN) and an MP for Vaucluse's 3rd constituency since 2012. Twenty-two years old at the time of her election, she became France's youngest MP in modern political history.[4]

She is a granddaughter of the politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the FN in 1972, and a niece of Marine Le Pen, president of the FN since 2011.

Family background[edit]

She was born on 10 December 1989 at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, Île-de-France.[5]

Her grandfather Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is the honorary chairman of the FN, founded this French nationalist party on 5 October 1972. Her aunt Marine Le Pen has been the president of the Front National since 16 January 2011. Her mother Yann Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen's second daughter, does not carry out any official duties within the FN. Her father Samuel Maréchal had been the leader of the Front National Youth movement (FNJ) for seven years (1992–1999).[6]

In a book entitled The Conquerors (Les Conquérantes) launched on 18 November 2013, the French journalist Christine Clerc (fr) revealed that Samuel Maréchal is not her biological father.[7] On 7 November 2013, the French weekly news magazine L'Express disclosed the identity of her birth father, Roger Auque, an investigative journalist who died in September 2014.[7] On 8 November, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen officially announced that she had asked her lawyer to sue L'Express for a "serious invasion of her privacy".[8][9]

Academic studies[edit]

Until 2012, she was enrolled in Panthéon-Assas University's masters of public business law.[10] On 14 November 2012, she wrote in an official statement that she had decided to put aside her studies in order to dedicate herself to her office.[11]

Political career (2008–2013)[edit]

About her early interest in politics, she explained : "Contrary to what everyone thinks, in my family we didn’t talk about politics at home and we’re free to make our own choices." "I became interested in politics around 15 or 16 and in various approaches, not necessarily FN. "As a teenager, she once went to a meeting addressed by Nicolas Sarkozy "out of curiosity" because he "intrigued" her. She added : "I very quickly came down to earth." At the age of 18, she became a member of the FN.[12]

Early career (2008–2010)[edit]

In the 2008 municipal elections, she was a candidate in seventh position on the FN list in Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine.[13] She was not elected since the FN list only got 6.29% with one municipal councillor elected from the first round.[14]

In the 2010 regional elections, she figured in second position on the FN departmental list in the Yvelines, Île-de-France.[15] Marie-Christine Arnautu's FN list which polled 9.29% in the whole of Île-de-France in the first round,[16] could not take part in the run-off given that a list must cross a threshold of 10% of the valid votes at a regional level. Because of the process of elimination, she was not elected in the Île-de-France's regional council.[17]

Youngest MP in modern history (2012)[edit]

Her parliamentary candidacy in Vaucluse's 3rd constituency was publicly confirmed on 25 April 2012, in the meantime of the first round and run-off of the presidential election.[18][19] After her candidacy was made official by the FN nomination committee, she then campaigned in this constituency which includes the southern part of Carpentras.[6][12][17][20] In the first round of the presidential elections, Marine Le Pen had achieved her highest national performance in Vaucluse (27.03%)[21] and most notably in this constituency (31.50%) where she outdistanced the UMP incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy (27.60%).[6][17][20]

In the run-off on 17 June 2012, she defeated the incumbent MP Jean-Michel Ferrand who had continuously sat in the National Assembly for twenty-six years (Rally for the Republic : 1986–2002, Union for a Popular Movement : 2002–2012).[22] At the age of 22, she became the youngest citizen to enter the French Parliament in modern political history (Louis Antoine de Saint-Just was at 24 years old the former youngest MP in 1791).[6][23]

Rise within the FN (2012)[edit]

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen's speech during a meeting on 1 September 2012 in Livré-la-Touche, Mayenne

Early July 2012, she became a member of the National Front's executive board.[24] On 23 September 2012, she made her first public speech in front of 1,000 participants at the FN summer school in La Baule-Escoublac.[25]

Local politics : Sorgues (2013–2014)[edit]

During a press conference held on 30 October 2013, she officially announced her appearance as a fellow candidate on a municipal list at Sorgues, a town of 18,000 inhabitants located to the north of Avignon in the western part of her constituency.[26][27] She decided to figure in tenth position on this local list led by Gérard Gérent, then an independent councillor belonging to the UMP municipal majority and a former deputy mayor of Sorgues.[28][29]

In the first round of the 2012 presidential elections, Marine Le Pen had polled 36.02% at Sorgues[30] whereas Marion Maréchal-Le Pen got there 37.65% in the first round and 44.36% in the run-off of the following legislative elections.[31]

In the first round on 23 March 2014, the FN list led by Gérard Gérent, which was defeated by the one of the UMP incumbent mayor Thierry Lagneau, came second with 33.80% (2,861 votes) with the election of five municipal councillors and two community councillors.[32] Consequently, she was not elected as a municipal councillor at Sorgues.

Political views[edit]

Her political, cultural and foreign policy views reflect the general consensus of her party.[33]

Social positions[edit]

She asserts that her party has supported the defence of family for a very long time.[34] Along with Gilbert Collard and other FN senior executives, she took part in the mass demonstrations against same-sex marriage organized in Paris in the first half of the year 2013.[33][34]

She stated her opposition to the reinstatement of capital punishment: " In a private capacity, I am against the reinstatement of capital punishment. It is an extremely difficult choice which would be imposed to magistrates. And whatever happens, even if it remains extremely minimal, there is always this horrible mistake that is the miscarriage of justice. I'd prefer that life imprisonment without eligibility for parole be established".[35]

Foreign policy and EU issues[edit]

She is a member of the parliamentary friendship groups France–Russia[36] and France−Ivory Coast.[37]

On 10 December 2012, she took part in an international parliamentary forum organized at Moscow by the State Duma.[38] On 22 January 2013, she was present in the Reichstag at the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty by French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.[39] In a written statement, she claimed that this Treaty was originally based on the cooperation and partnership between two sovereign states and denounced the "forced march towards a German federal Europe".[40]

On 29 September 2013, she attended a political event organized by the Vlaams Belang in Boom, near Antwerp. On this occasion, she explained : "It is important that a front of patriotic and euro-critical parties form in sight of European elections, which is the case, and get some good results in order to lead resistance to Euro and globalism".[41]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Along with Gilbert Collard, she introduced on 7 December 2012 a constitutional private member's bill concerning the appointment of the members of the Constitutional Council of France.[42]

For the beginning of the fourteenth legislature, she cosigned four private member's bills[5] including one constitutional forbidding marriage between same-sex persons[43] and one organic which aims at enforcing the article 68 of the Constitution of France establishing a process of impeachment for the President of the Republic.[44]

According to the rules of the National Assembly, an unregistered MP can ask orally the government every eight sessions.[45][46] She had asked three oral questions for the beginning of the legislature : in 2013, to Manuel Valls, Minister of the Interior about the policy regarding Romani people[47] and to Marisol Touraine, Minister of Health and Social Affairs about the fight against welfare fraud;[48] in 2014, to Nicole Bricq, Minister for Foreign Trade about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.[49]

Like other MPs, she immersed herself in a tangible activity in her constituency. On the occasion of the strawberry festival at Carpentras in April 2013, she has become for two days a market gardener at a strawberry grower.[50]

In a written parliamentary question addressed in May 2013 to Valérie Fourneyron, Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs, Popular Education and Community life, she drew her attention to the poor treatment rugby league receives in France from the government and the media, regretting the banning of this sport during the Vichy regime.[51][52]

Elections[edit]

Vaucluse's five constituencies : Vaucluse's 3rd constituency (green) includes the cantons of Bédarrides, Carpentras-Sud, Pernes-les-Fontaines

2012 legislative elections: Vaucluse's 3rd constituency[edit]

Her main opponent, Jean-Michel Ferrand became an MP on 30 September 1986[53] in place of Maurice Charretier (fr), then mayor of Carpentras, elected as a senator two days previously.[54] Afterwards, Ferrand consecutively won five parliamentary elections with the two-round system (1988, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2007; three of them against a FN candidate in 1993, 1997, 2002).[55]

In the first round on 10 June, she came first with 34.65% (15,172 votes) whereas Ferrand came second with 30.03% (13,151 votes) and the socialist candidate Catherine Arkilovitch came third with 21.98% (9,624 votes).[1] In order to take part in the run-off, a parliamentary candidate must cross a minimal threshold of 12.50% of the registered voters.

In the run-off on 17 June, she was elected as an MP with 42.09% (18,920 votes) while Ferrand was defeated (35.82%, 16,100 votes) by a margin of 6.27% (2,820 votes) and Arkilovitch polled 22.08% (9,926 votes).[1] Among the fifteen municipalities of the constituency, she only got the absolute majority in Bédarrides where she achieved her highest performance with 50.76%.[56]

Along with Gilbert Collard elected in Gard's 2nd constituency,[57] she is one of the first two members of the National Front since 1997 to serve in the National Assembly.[4][58] A member of the FN for a very long time (1972–2005) and an MP for Vaucluse under the eighth legislature (1986–1988),[59] Jacques Bompard was also elected as an MP for Vaucluse's 4th constituency.[60]

FN: parliamentary representation under the Fifth Republic[edit]

Under the French Fifth Republic, the Front National was represented under the eighth legislature (1986−1988), the ninth legislature (1988−1993), the eleventh legislature (1997−2002) and is currently represented under the fourteenth legislature (2012–present).

In 1985, the proportional representation (PR) system was established for the first time under the Fifth Republic. In the 1986 legislative election, the Front National got 35 MPs and thus was able to form a parliamentary group.[61][62]

On 24 November 1986, the law 86–1197 re-established the two-round system and divided France into 577 constituencies. The FN lost almost all his MPs in the 1988 legislative elections. The only one to be re-elected was the outgoing MP of Var Yann Piat (fr)[63] who won 53.71% in the run-off in Var's 3rd constituency (Hyères).[61] She then sat as a non-attached MP. After a strong disagreement with Jean-Marie Le Pen, she was expelled from the FN on 10 October 1988.[61] In November 1989, she joined the Republican Party (PR) and the Union for French Democracy (UDF) parliamentary group.[61][64] Re-elected in the same constituency in the 1993 legislative elections,[65] she was assassinated in Hyères on 25 February 1994.

In the run-off of a by-election held on 3 December 1989, Marie-France Stirbois was elected with 61.30% as an MP for Eure-et-Loir's 2nd constituency (Dreux).[61] She then sat as a non-attached MP.[66] She was defeated by Gérard Hamel (RPR) in the 1993 legislative elections.[67]

In the run-off of the 1997 legislative elections, Jean-Marie Le Chevallier (fr), then mayor of Toulon, was elected with 53.16% as an MP for Var's 1st constituency.[61][68] On 6 February 1998, the Constitutional Council of France cancelled his election and declared him ineligible.[69] In the run-off of two by-elections held on 3 May 1998 and 27 September 1998 (following a second cancellation on 28 July 1998 by the Constitutional Council),[70] his wife Cendrine Le Chevallier was consecutively defeated by the socialist candidate Odette Casanova.[71]

Until the election of Marion Maréchal-Le Pen and Gilbert Collard, the Front National had not been represented in the National Assembly for fourteen years (1998−2012). After the re-establishment of the two-round system in 1986, the FN had only won in five constituencies for twenty-four years (1988−2012).

Political mandate[edit]

National Assembly : benches in the hemicycle. During the XIVth legislature (2012–), bench n°67 is allocated to Marion Maréchal-Le Pen
  • MP for Vaucluse's 3rd constituency, 20 June 2012–present (XIV legislature)[5]
    • Member of the standing committee for cultural affairs and education, 28 June 2012 – 30 September 2013[5] — Member of the standing committee on Foreign Affairs, 1 October 2013–present[72]
    • Member of the study groups Heritage[73] — Policies on rurality[74]Shale gas.[75]
    • Member of the friendship groups France–Russia and France−Ivory Coast.

One of the six youngest MPs of the new assembly, she served on 26 June 2012 as a secretary during the opening of the fourteenth legislature presided over by the most senior MP François Scellier.[76]

She has been a Non-Attached MP since 20 June 2012. Her bench (number 67) is located between the ones of Gilbert Collard (number 66, on her "right") and Jacques Bompard (number 68, on her "left").[77] The National Assembly has included eight unregistered MPs since 30 August 2013.[78][79]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Institutional website[edit]

Complementary source[edit]

Personal websites[edit]