The French National Front changes its name to give itself a new impulse
The president of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen, in the French National Assembly on March 6, 2018
The far-right National Front (FN) French initiates this Saturday a congress destined to change the name of the formation and give it a new impulse, after its electoral failure in the presidential elections of 2017.
The congress of the FN will be attended by Steve Bannon, ex-adviser to US President Donald Trump, who will speak during the conclave.
Bannon “embodies the rejection of the system, one of whose worst symbols is the European Union (EU) of Brussels” and “has understood, as Trump and Matteo Salvini (leader of the Italian League, an ally of the FN), the will of the people to return to its destiny, “said Louis Aliot, vice president of the Front.
Only candidate for his succession, Marine Le Pen is assured of re-election on Sunday as leader of the main party of the French far right.
Among her plans to regain support, the far-right leader announced her intention to change the name of the formation co-founded in 1972 by her father, the controversial Jean-Marie Le Pen, to definitively break with the anti-Semitic and racist image of the party, which scares the Many French
“We are at a key moment in the history of our movement (…) It is a date with the country that we should not miss,” said Marine Le Pen, defeated in the presidential election by Emmanuel Macron, but who achieved a record of 11 million votes (33.9%) in the second round.
However, the image of Marine Le Pen was seriously damaged after a final televised debate with his adversary, which seriously undermined his credibility and questioned his powers.
– Short majority –
Through a questionnaire sent to the 51,000 members of the movement, the National Front activists validated by a “short majority” the principle of a change of appeal. The name, which will be announced by Marine Le Pen during the congress of Lille (north) will then be put to a vote.
However, Jean Marie Le Pen, 90, has claimed that her daughter commits a “betrayal of the movement’s history” by changing her name. Jean-Marie Le Pen is banned from the FN congress.
Marine Le Pen, 49, avoids focusing too much on the dispute with his father and assured, in a recent interview with the conservative daily Le Figaro, that his goal is to “definitively transform this opposition party into a ruling party.”
The anti-European and anti-immigration leader took the decision to change the name of her party, convinced that it is a necessary step to one day forge alliances with other parties.
“Without a change of name we can not forge alliances, and without alliances we can never take power,” said Marine Le Pen.
– In the sights, 2019 –
However, the loss of the historical name of the movement is not to the liking of all supporters. For many the problem is not the name, but “the leading team”.
According to a Kantar Sofres survey, 73% of French people think that Marine Le Pen would not be a “good president”.
In his own field, doubts have also arisen about Le Pen’s ability to take the FN to power. The departure in September of his right arm, Florian Philippot, who created an alternative party, also demonstrated the lack of internal unity.
In the sights of Marine Le Pen are the European elections of 2019, in which he hopes to repeat the feat of 2014, when the National Front became the first French political force.
With that goal in mind, Le Pen plans to present a “union” list of “nationalists” against “globalists”, in a context in which traditional parties have lost ground in France and several European countries.