Re-elected Le Pen as Leader: Were Not Going Back to Front National

Marine le Pen has been re-elected in the run-up to next years presidential election as leader of the French right-wing populist party Rassemblement National, the former Front National. The appointment was not surprising; there were no other candidates.

The party scored badly in the regional elections last week. Nationally, Rassemblement National did not reach the majority in one region.

โ€œThe elections went disastrous for Rassemblement National,โ€ also said correspondent Frank Renout in theCCEIT Radio 1 Journal yesterday, on the first day of the partys conference. A debate on the course of Le Pen was then focused on. โ€œThats remarkable. Because Le Pen has been a party leader for ten years now, and at that time Ive never heard a hard debate about her course.โ€

In recent years, Le Pen has given the party a โ€œdecent faceโ€, says Renout. โ€œHer father was once convicted of anti-Semitism, for example. And there are prominents in the party who say, โ€œIs that moderate course right if it scores so badly in the election?โ€ Some members think the party might have to go back to a harder course. Towards street fighters instead of decency.โ€

Hold course

The 52-year-old Le Pen gave a speech this afternoon at the Congress in Perpignan, the place in southern France where the party scored well. She made it clear shes holding on to her current course. โ€œWere not going back. With all the respect we have for our history, we wont return to Front National,โ€ she said.

Another cause of the bad election score last week could be the poor turnout. One third of the population went to the ballot box. President Macrons party didnt score well either.