Niece of presidential candidate to back rival
Speaking to Le Parisien on Thursday evening, Marion Marechal, a former MP for the far-right National Rally (‘Rassemblement national’) party, said she would not be backing her aunt, Marine Le Pen, as she runs for president in April.
Marechal, a darling of the far right who became the country’s youngest MP at the age of 22 back in 2012, suggested that polemicist-cum-politician Éric Zemmour may receive her backing.
Supporting Zemmour, she said, “it would not just be a question of passing by and saying hello. It would mean returning to politics.” Marechal has not been an MP since 2018.
“It is a true life choice to make, a decision that weighs heavily,” she added, noting that she would make a decision on pledging her support within a month.
Speaking on Friday, Marechal said she would be returning to politics. “I was very happy to stop five years ago, but now I want to return to politics,” she told Le Figaro.
Le Pen, candidate of the National Rally party, said she was disappointed and confused by her niece’s move.
“I have a special story with Marion because I raised her with my sister during the first years of her life, so obviously it’s brutal, it’s violent, it’s difficult for me,” she said on Friday morning.
“She [Maréchal] had indicated that she would support whoever is best placed. Unquestionably, I am much better placed today than Eric Zemmour since I am given in the second round,” she stated, referencing poll data.
Le Pen, who faced off with President Emmanuel Macron in the second round of voting in 2017, is facing stiff competition from other right-wing candidates, including Zemmour.