French far-right party definitively severs ties with founder

French far-right party definitively severs ties with founder
French far-right presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen casts her vote, in Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 10, 2018. Marine Le Pen will propose a name change for the National Front at this weekend's party congress to symbolize an identity makeover designed to lift the party from the political netherworld where it has dwelled since Le Pen's calamitous loss in France's presidential election 10 months ago. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

PARIS (AP) — France’s far-right National Front party has definitively severed its ties to firebrand founder Jean-Marie Le Pen as it tries to revive its fortunes.

The party also re-elected his daughter, Marine Le Pen, to a new term as president at party congress where she was its only candidate for the post. A new 100-member governing council was also named.

The party tweeted Sunday that more than 79 percent of members who participated in a vote approved new party statutes that included abolishing Jean-Marie Le Pen’s position of party president for life.

The party expelled him in 2015 over anti-Semitic remarks but he kept the honorary position. Sunday’s vote is a crushing blow for the 89-year-old, who founded the party in 1972 and was runner-up in the 2002 French presidential election.