Jean-Marie Le Pen demands Front National expulsion take place in public
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Historic French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen faces expulsion from the party he cofounded on Thursday at a special executive meeting of the Front National (FN). In his latest gesture of defiance to allies of his daughter Marine, who now leads the party, he has demanded that the hearing take place in public.
"We demand that the debate be made public and that the executive committee meeting be open to the press and the public," an unnamed ally of the veteran right-winger told Le Monde newspaper, adding that the move would be in the interests of "transparency".
Supporters of the veteran Eurosceptic are citing rulings of the European Court of Human Rights that judgements must be passed in public as jurisprudence, with the implicit threat of further legal action if they do not get their way.
The 87-year-old former FN president managed to persuade a court to overrule his suspension at a meeting, which he boycotted, in May.
And last month a court stopped a vote of members that would have scrapped the honorary presidency, a post invented for him when Marine took over and set about trying to clean up the party's image.
Jean-Marie Le Pen will attend today's meeting "with the intention of teaching a lesson and not receiving one", he said earlier.
But Marine Le Pen and party vice-president Florian Philippot will not be there, although they are members of the committee.
They do not want to be accused of being both judge and jury, they say, since Le Pen is accused of launching personal attacks on them, as well as bringing the party into disrepute with remarks on the Holocaust and World War II.