Far-right leader Marine Le Pen lost her bid to become France’s first female head of state but she is unbowed, making plans for a major makeover of her party and her next electoral battle: June’s parliamentary elections.
Le Pen’s loss to centrist Emmanuel Macron still gave her a historic number of votes, reflecting the changing image of her once-pariah National Front party from fringe force to a political heavyweight.
Always a fighter defying the odds, the ambitious Le Pen set a new challenge for herself: “a profound reformation of our movement to constitute a new political force.”
The National Front’s interim president, named while Le Pen campaigned for Sunday’s runoff, said the changes include giving the party a new name.
“It’s opening the doors of the movement to other personalities,” Steeve Briois told the AP, “then give it a new name to start on a new basis.”
Changing the name was discussed at the height of Le Pen’s efforts to scrub the party image and remove traces of racism and anti-Semitism that scared away potential backers. But party stalwarts saw the change as too radical.
A new name would help Le Pen distance herself from the old guard — including her father, party founder Jean-Marie, who was kicked out under his daughter’s image revamping.
The party’s new look won’t come about before the parliamentary elections on June 11 and 18.
“We need new tools,” campaign director David Rachline said Monday on France Info radio.
The notion that a new movement under Le Pen could lead to political alliances and entice new voters poses a challenge to Macron, who said during his victory speech that the anger and despair of far-right voters must be acknowledged. He faces his own challenge finding a parliamentary majority.
The message crossed French borders: Germany’s foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, laced his welcome for Macron with a warning to the French: “If he fails, in five years Mrs. Le Pen will be president and the European project will go to the dogs.”
Le Pen is counting on failure because the problems are hard to mend quickly.
Le Pen, who came third in the 2012 presidential election, has spent years planting a grassroots structure for her party. In 2014, the National Front won 11 towns in municipal elections, and her party performed better than any in France in elections for the European Parliament, where she co-presides over a far-right group.
You can’t go past a news paper, radio show or television news story these days without being flooded by all things Bitcoin or Crypto Currency. Some say it’s the new world of money while others suggest its all just a passing fad. Whatever your position or preference of...
This week I announced a suite of measures for the Government to consider when it comes to small and medium sized business and what we can all be doing as we start to look at emerging from the COVID19 lockdown. The reality is that a good number of small business owners,...
As someone who has been working in suicide prevention for some years now i know that often having a simple conversation can make all of the difference when a loved one is doing it tough. COVID 19 and the lock down tends to amplify how we feel when we are isolation or a...
We know that mob out there are uncertain as to what the COVID-19 / Corona Virus means for them – this can cause us all to panic and some in community more so that others. Panic attacks can compound the situation so we gather some information about what you can do now t...
Don’t forget our elders can suffer in silence too: suicide prevention
Many people think that mental health and suicide are not topics that impact our elders but they could not be more wrong. The data tells us there continues to be an emerging trend when it comes to peop...