The French National Front has been renamed Rally National (RN, National Association). Party leader Marine Le Pen spoke of a "historical moment in life of our movement". The new name is a strategic, methodical and political realignment of party, according to Le Monde. The party is right-wing populist and anti-European.
In vote, more than 80 percent of party members had voted for a change of name, nearly 53 percent of members had taken part, Le Pen said. She had proposed change of name in March to reduce "psychological reservations" against party. A renaming is a sign of hope for "Shattered Land". In a member survey, however, only 52 percent had decided to actually change name. Since May, party members have been questioned in writing for name change. Party renaming is not unusual in France: The Conservatives had also renamed mselves a few years ago: from UMP in Les Républicains.
The new name is intended to open up new electoral groups and coalitions to party before European elections. "I believe this is very important for many who think like us, but have not yet dared to do so," said FN MEP Louis Aliot to channel BFMTV. FN politician Nicolas Bay said party is changing name from a protest party to Mehrheitspol. On Thursday, Le Pen had an open letter to party leader of Conservative, European-critical party debout la France, who had assisted m in presidential runoff. It proposes a joint European election campaign. "For first time, for a long time, field of Patriots has found, gared and united," wrote Le Pen.Le Pen wants to "dedemonize" party
Le Pens's far, right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen, described renaming as "treason" and "shameful annihilation" of identity of Front National. He had led party 1972 with foundation until 2011, n took over his daughter. Jean-Marie Le Pen has been sentenced several times for verharmlosender statements about Nazi gas chambers, since 2015 he has been expelled from party. The new party name, however, goes back to a parliamentary group of protest in 1980s. The head of "Front National – Rally national" was Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Since being a party leader, Marine Le Pen has tried to portray Front National as less radical. In presidential election last year, it mobilized more than 10.6 million voters – as many as never before. In runoff, she was defeated by Emmanuel Macron but with 34 to 66 percent of votes.
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