Report: French far-right leader Le Pen to retire

PARIS: French far-right firebrand Jean-Marie Le Pen says he plans to retire from politics before the next presidential race in 2012.

Le Pen suggests his daughter, Marine Le Pen, should succeed him at the helm of his anti-immigration National Front party.

In an interview published Thursday in Valeurs actuelles magazine, Le Pen, who is 80, said only "exceptional circumstances" would convince him to run in 2012.

Le Pen shocked France by making it to the second round of the presidential race in 2002. Voters rallied around conservative incumbent Jacques Chirac, who then trounced Le Pen.

In the 2007 presidential race, Le Pen drew a dismal percent of the vote.

Le Pen is known as a gifted orator but he has been convicted of racism multiple times.

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