LILLE, France (Reuters) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen proposed her National Front party be renamed the “National Rally” on Sunday, in a bid to shed a brand associated by many voters with racism and anti-Semitism and facilitate alliances with other parties.
Speaking at a party congress meant to help her reassert her authority following her defeat to President Emmanuel Macron last May, Le Pen said the party’s priority should be to gain power, which could only be achieved through a coalition with allies.
“Our goal is clear: power,” Le Pen told party cardholders gathered in the northern city of Lille, who cheered her speech denouncing immigration, globalization and a federal Europe.
“We were originally a protest party,” she said. “There should be no doubt now that we can be a ruling party.”
The idea of changing the party’s name was only approved by a narrow majority of National Front members, with 52 percent backing it on Saturday, according to figures provided by the party. They will get to vote again on the new name by post.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the 89-year old far-right veteran who founded the party in 1972, called the name change political “suicide” in an interview with Reuters last month.
“The National Front name carries an epic
Article source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-politics-lepen/le-pen-wants-frances-national-front-to-be-renamed-national-rally-idUSKCN1GN0L7
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