Connect to share and comment

Marine Le Pen ordered to unmask the mayors who back her

As she struggles to get on the ballot for April's presidential elections, France's Constitutional Court orders her to reveal the names of the mayors who signed petitions supporting her candidacy.

Lepen2012221Enlarge
President of France's far-right party the Front National and candidate for the April's presidential elections, Marine Le Pen holds a red card during a speech on Sunday, the second day of the party's convention in Lille, northern France. (PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen, the leading lady of France’s extreme right party the Front National, must reveal which of France’s mayors have signed a petition to her on the ballot in this year’s presidential elections after the Constitutional Court ruled against her today, according to The Associated Press.

Candidates in the presidential elections, the first round of which will be held in two months, must deposit the signed petitions of 500 mayors in order to appear on the ballot, something that has long angered the far right.

More from GlobalPost: Marine Le Pen, of France's far-right, may miss ballot

Le Pen, the daughter of the longtime far right leader Jean-Marie, and the Front National had argued that the should be allowed to maintain their backers’ anonymity as some supporters risked humiliation for supporting a political party seen as proto-fascist.

Le Pen has in recent weeks struggled to obtain the required number of signatures and currently has only 430, according the AP.

The AP said the ballot represented a victory for Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative incumbent who must win at least some of the nationalist vote if he is to defeat the popular Socialist candidate François Hollande.

Leading in the polls, Hollande is widely seen as the favorite while the far right has in some elections garnered up to a fifth of ballots cast.

The National Front had argued that the rule requiring the publication of the names of the petitioning mayors had been unconstitutional as it violated equality before the law or of secret balloting, according to the AP.

The Constitutional Court disagreed.

“This publicity does not, in and of itself, underplay the principle of pluralism of ideas,” the judges found, according to a ruling cited by the AP.

More from GlobalPost: Poll: National Front leader Marine Le Pen shows surprising strength

Marine’s father Jean-Marie was convicted Thursday of contesting crimes against humanity. Le Pen reportedly a far-right magazine in 2005 that the German occupation of France was “not especially inhumane.”

Under German occupation, 75,000 Jews were deported to death and concentration camps, millions were made prisoners of war, tens of thousands were sent into forced labor and France’s resources and infrastructure were diverted to the German war effort., among other atrocities.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120221/marine-le-pen-ordered-unmask-the-mayors-who-back-her