Half a century after its inception, the formation is stronger than ever and shows political strength in the National Assembly
An embarrassing anniversary. The party of Marine Le Pen discreetly celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Front National (FN), today the National Rally (RN), without the presence of its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Half a century after its foundation, the party is stronger than ever and shows political strength in the National Assembly. “We have turned a warring party into a party ready to rule,” Marine Le Pen wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. The far right paid tribute “to all the militants, who have worked for the national cause for 50 years”, but did not mention her father in the tweet.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, persona non grata since being expelled from the party by his own daughter in 2015 for his anti-Semitic proclamations, has not been invited to the National Regrouping Colloquium to be held in the National Assembly. The Patriarch will celebrate in a few days at a private party at his mansion in Montretout, on the outskirts of Paris.
On October 5, 1972, Jean-Marie Le Pen and other far-right radical figures founded the Front National. Among its founders were members of the neo-fascist political movement New Order, anti-Semites, anti-Gaullists, Nazi collaborators and nostalgic for French Algeria. Jean-Marie Le Pen, who considers himself primarily ‘a patriot’, has shaken French politics awake for five decades with his outbursts and his racist and anti-Semitic proclamations. He believes in “racial inequality,” considers the gas chambers the Nazis used to exterminate the Jews “a detail” and hoped Ebola could “solve” immigration problems in three months.
Le Pen Sr., 94, has run for president five times. The historic leader of the French far right caused a surprise in 2002 by qualifying for the second round of the presidential elections. He was defeated with 17.79% of the vote, compared to 82.21% for Jacques Chirac. In 2011, Marine Le Pen took over the reins of the Front National and began a clean-up campaign to oust the most radical elements of the formation, soften the discourse, sweep racism and anti-Semitism under the rug, make it more presentable to voters and turn it into a party capable of governing.
The far-right leader renamed the party National Regrouping in 2018, a name change that the patriarch did not like, who described it as “the heaviest blow the National Front has dealt since its inception”. A decade of “demonization” seems to be paying off. Just like in 2017, Marine Le Pen managed to qualify for the second round of the presidential elections in April. He received 41.5% of the vote, against 58.5% for Emmanuel Macron, who was re-elected president. National regrouping won 89 deputies in the June parliamentary elections, a record. The foray into the presidential campaign by far-right candidate Éric Zemmour contributed to this money laundering. Next to Zemmour, Le Pen seemed subdued.
National Regrouping remains a party of the far right, despite toning down its speech in the face of the gallery. Marine Le Pen argues against the economic liberalism of the Front National for protectionism and economic patriotism. The far right now claims the figure of President Charles de Gaulle, who was taunted by his father for having renounced Algeria.
«Denial, revisionism, affiliation with ex-Nazis. So is the National Front. Demonization attempts will not suffice. ‘Normalization’ will never hide it,” said Renaissance, Macron’s party, which has launched a campaign on social networks with the hashtag #50ansdeFHaine (50 years of hate) to remind the French “where they come from and who they are “.
In November, Regrouping National selects the party’s new chairman at a congress. For the first time in its 50-year history, it will not bear the surname Le Pen. MEP Jordan Bardella and the mayor of Perpignan, Louis Alliot, are contesting the position. Bardella is Nolwenn Olivier’s boyfriend, Marine Le Pen’s niece and Alliot was a couple of the far-right leader for a few years. So in the end everything will be in the hands of the clan.
Source: La Verdad
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