This isn’t the first time the National Front candidate has glorified French colonial rule
In an interview with French television channel BFM last week, presidential candidate Marine Le Pen stirred controversy by saying that “colonisation gave a lot to former colonies, especially Algeria”.
The far-right National Front candidate defended France’s 132-year colonial rule of the North African country, which led to the persecution of millions.
In the one-on-one interview with presenter Jean-Jaques Bourdin, Le Pen also came to the defence of the “pied-noir”, the European settlers of Algeria, and condemned the treatment of Algerians who served as auxiliaries in the French army, known as Harkis. “I defend the Harkis along with those who were repatriated. I think they were ill-treated and ill-received in their country,” she told Bourdin.
Le Pen’s views echo a general denial of France’s colonial past among many right-wing politicians. A few months prior to Le Pen’s statement, centre-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon drew criticism for reducing colonisation to “the sharing of cultures”.
Recently however, Emannuelle Macron, the frontrunning centrist candidate going head-to-head against Le Pen in the second round of the French vote, made a surprising statement condemning France’s colonisation, branding it as a “crime against humanity”.