Without surprise, Marine Le Pen was re-elected on Sunday president of National Front. Without surprise, post of honorary president, occupied by his far, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was eliminated. The old ultra leader, estranged from his daughter and already officially expelled as a militant in 2015, is completely outside party he founded. So far, nothing unpredictable.
The question of XVI Congress of FN in city of Lille, in north of France, must be revealed by Marine Le Pen in closing remarks, in afternoon: The new name for a formation that collects millions of votes in France but has never attained power.
Le Pen Hija posed Congress of Lille as that of refoundation: one that allows to lay bases to transform a party of masses but stigmatized — cornered in corners of ideologies unfrequented and contrary to republican values — and to achieve Make it frequentable. That is, able to ally with or parties — or, at very least, attract ir constituents — and truly aspire to power.
The Congress is result of a process that began after defeat of Le Pen in presidential elections in May 2017 before Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen was qualified for second round and obtained more than ten million votes, a result that reflects powerful implantation in French territory. But again he stayed at gates of power, with 34% of votes, compared to 66% of his centrist rival.
His terrible performance in electoral debate before Macron left battered his image as a potential ruler, and strategic errors such as proposal for a quick exit from euro and eventually EU frightened many potential voters. The party n opened a reflection that included a questionnaire among its 51,000 militants. Everything, aimed at refoundation.
52% of polled were favorable to change of name, a majority exigua that evidences attachment of militancy to signs of identity. 90% voted in favour of a referendum to leave EU, but 73% felt that euro's departure was not a priority.
100% of nearly 1,500 delegates in Lille voted for re-election of Marine Le Pen in presidency of FN. She was only candidate. About 80% voted in favor of changing statutes, a measure that includes abolition of presidency of honour, that is to say, definitive exclusion of Jean-Marie Le Pen. His verbal stridency and his opinions on extermination of Jews of Europe or collaboration with Nazi occupants during Second World War hindered effort of his daughter to Desdiabolizar party.
The Far Pen had been away from FN for years. The biggest symbol of refoundation is change of name. In coming weeks militants must ratify by mail name that Le Pen daughter announces in Lille.
The question is wher to change name is enough. Because this is a party hopelessly associated with an ideology and with two names. It is possible that ideology was dulcifique in comparison with far's times, but issues such as immigration — issue that propelled FN in 1980s — remain central. It's not easy to get rid of names eir. The first, National Front, will soon be history, yes. The or name is Le Pen, and this, whoever pen is to direct it, will remain party linked to family that founded it.