French far-right’s Marine Le Pen loses bid to be in parliament

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, June 17, 2012 16:09 EDT
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HENIN-BEAUMONT, France — French far-right leader Marine Le Pen of the National Front lost her bid to win a seat in France’s parliamentary election by a handful of votes on Sunday, results showed.

Socialist Philippe Kemel, who had already claimed victory in the vote, defeated Le Pen by only 118 votes, scoring 50.11 percent to Le Pen’s 49.89 percent, the local prefect’s office announced.

“It seems that we are a few votes ahead,” Kemel told journalists in the former mining constituency near the northern city of Lille shortly before the results were announced.

Le Pen said the result was so close that she was demanding a recount.

The anti-immigrant and anti-EU National Front (FN) won at least two seats in Sunday’s vote, returning an MP to parliament for the first time since 1998.

The FN’s founder Jean-Marie Le Pen said his 22-year-old granddaughter Marion Marechal-Le Pen was among those winning a seat.

“The goal was very much achieved, she is even above the estimate I had for her,” Le Pen said of her victory in the southern Vaucluse region.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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