The Latest: French party may be renamed ‘National Rally’

The Latest on the party congress of France’s far right National Front (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has proposed changing the name of the National Front party co-founded by her father to National Rally.

Her renaming proposal culminated Le Pen’s closing speech at the party’s two-day congress in Lille, the capital of the National Front’s northern heartland.

Le Pen said the name the party has had since its 1972 founding is linked to a “glorious” past, but serves as a psychological barrier for potential new members and voters.

The new name must be approved by members in a mail vote.

It is part of a broader makeover Le Pen hopes will help boost the party to power. Le Pen has worked since taking over in 2011 to remove the stigma of racism and anti-Semitism attached to the National Front.


11:10 a.m.

France’s far-right National Front party has definitively severed its ties to firebrand founder Jean-Marie Le Pen as it tries to revive its fortunes.

The party also re-elected his daughter, Marine Le Pen, to a new term as president at party congress where she was its only candidate for the post. A new 100-member governing council was also named.

The party tweeted Sunday that more than 79 percent of members who participated in a vote approved new party statutes that included abolishing Jean-Marie Le Pen’s position of party president for life.

The party expelled him in 2015 over anti-Semitic remarks but he kept the honorary position. Sunday’s vote is a crushing blow for the 89-year-old, who founded the party in 1972 and was runner-up in the 2002 French presidential election.

Categories: World News

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