On Friday, the Front National, after 45 years of existence, officially changed its name to become the Rassemblement National, while keeping its same emblem.
The Front National became on Friday the Rassemblement National. A name change intended to mark the culmination of the re-founding of this political party founded a little over 45 years ago.
“Tribute to the Front National, Long live the Rassemblement National”, said Marine Le Pen, party leader, on Friday evening, at Bron, near Lyon (center-east), announcing that 80.8 percent of the party’s activists had spoken out in favour of this new name in a mail vote.
.@MLP_officiel vient d’annoncer que nos adhérents ont largement (plus de 80%) fait le choix pour changer le nom de notre mouvement !
Vive le #RassemblementNational !
Vive la #France ! pic.twitter.com/eRo3w8v2Lw
— Frédéric BOCCALETTI (@Boccaletti83) June 1, 2018
After 45 years of existence
This change of name “closes a chapter in the history of our national movement opened a little more than 45 years ago, but it is to better open another one which, I believe, will not be less glorious”, she promised greeting the “European peoples who are waking up”, alluding to the accession to power of far-right Allied parties in Europe, especially in Italy.
The populist government in Italy is “a wink to fate” and “a reason for hope,” said, to applause, the one that had collected more than one in five votes in the first round of the presidential election. 2017, before being beaten in the second round by Emmanuel Macron.
The new name is supposed to mark the culmination of the refoundation of a party that seeks to rid itself of its racist and anti-Semitic past and wants to find allies to win. But the alliances are slow to see the light of day and the demonization is not completed.
Renaming the Front National is a “betrayal,” reacted co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, 89, breaking with his former training but retains supporters. “More than a label, it is also a long and courageous militant history that we deny,” he insurgent, condemning “the inspiring as the executors” of this decision.
For his daughter, Marine Le Pen, the reference is the front-line parliamentary group between 1986 and 1988 called “National Front-National Rally”, which included several deputies of the classical right.
The emblem of the flame maintained
The RN will keep the emblem of the flame, layer of the logo of the Italian neofascist party Italian Social Movement (MSI), now disappeared, which was inspired politically by the FN at its inception and which has helped financially, recalls the historian Valérie Igounet.
What rally the 48% of recalcitrant who had expressed in a questionnaire in the fall, their opposition to a name change. A very large majority of activists, however, said they were attached to the flame, “identification” to the party and symbol of “fighting”.
“It has always been the party’s dilemma, trying to open up to the classical right and, at the same time, keeping the symbol of an FN that is not yet extinct,” says Ms. Igounet.
The flame, a symbol of continuity, thus embodies the federating themes of the party, such as security and immigration, which Marine Le Pen puts forward, anxious to reassure activists sounded by its failure in the 2017 presidential election.
“The FN is not in shape and falls back on its fundamentals,” summarizes Ms. Igounet.
The first election campaign of the FN with this emblem, in 1978, was made under a slogan that made history: “one million unemployed is one million immigrants in excess”.
MEP and economist Bernard Monot, who left the FN this week to rally the sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, today criticizes his former party “no longer speak of economy and social” and only “security, fight against terrorism and immigration “.
In recent weeks, Marine Le Pen has also hailed the actions against the migrants of the radical movement Generation Identitaire (GI) and FN youth renamed Generation Nation.
The emphasis on identity and nation should particularly appeal to supporters of former MP Marion Maréchal, who has rekindled conjectures about her political future by launching a school of political science in which she wants to form “rooted” elites In a “cultural struggle necessary for the electoral fight”, at the risk of overshadowing his aunt.
Despite the new name, the RN line will remain oriented “right all” on the national preference, making hypothetical reconciliations, according to political scientist Jean-Yves Camus. The president of the right-wing party Republicans Laurent Wauquiez opposes an end of non-receipt and the personalities have not yet responded.