November 17, 2016 / 4:14 PM / 2 years ago

Jean-Marie Le Pen wins right to stay honorary president of France's National Front

French far-right Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen (C) arrives for a trial at the courthouse in Nanterre, near Paris, France October 5, 2016, as he takes his party to court after his daughter suspended him from the movement. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s far right National Front party, has won the right to remain its honorary president despite being ousted by his daughter last year, his lawyer told Reuters on Thursday after a court hearing.

Marine Le Pen, who succeeded her father as leader of the anti-immigration party in 2011, expelled Jean-Marie Le Pen from the movement in August 2015 after he reiterated previous comments playing down the Nazi Holocaust.

The feud burst into the open after she sought to soften the party’s image to help its quest for power.

Jean-Marie Le Pen’s lawyer, Frederic Joachim, said a court outside Paris had ruled in favor of his client in letting him remain honorary president, although it rejected his request to remain a card-carrying party member.

“The National Front will have to ensure Jean-Marie Le Pen is invited to take part in every meeting otherwise it would be fined 2,000 euros ($2,134.40) every time it doesn’t comply,” Joachim said.

Opinion polls see Marine Le Pen making it to the second round of the April and May presidential election in France next year but losing that run-off to a mainstream candidate from the center-right.

Reporting by Gerard Bon; Writing by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Michel Rose/Jeremy Gaunt

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