France’s Le Pen proposes new party name

France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen has proposed changing her party’s name to National Rally from National Front in a bid to improve its image.

She told members that the current name was a “psychological barrier” for voters.

The plan to change the party’s name was approved by a slim majority and members will get to vote again on the proposal.

Ms Le Pen was defeated by President Emmanuel Macron in a run-off vote last year.

Since then the party has lost voters and Ms Le Pen has come under attack from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the party in 1972.

Mr Le Pen, 89, told Reuters last month that a name change would be political “suicide”.

But Ms Le Pen hopes it will change attitudes to her party, which is associated by many voters with racism and anti-Semitism, and make it easier to form alliances with other parties.

She told members that the National Front name was associated with a “glorious and epic history” but also prevented the party from winning elections and gaining followers.

“For a lot of French people, even those who are sincere, it’s a psychological barrier,” she said.

“We were originally a protest party. There should be no doubt now that we can be a ruling party,” she added.

Fifty-two percent of members backed changing the party name on Saturday, the party says. Members will now vote on the new name by post.

  

Latest posts

Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika dies aged 84

Muraya Kamunde

US admits Kabul drone strike killed civilians

Muraya Kamunde

Is the Middle East ‘exporting’ violent extremism to Africa?

Eric Biegon

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More