At a meeting of the far-right National Rally (RN), newly re-elected party leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday reiterated her 2018 pledge to tone down her party’s anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric. “We are not going back to the National Front,” she said, referring to the party’s old name, which it changed in 2018 as part of the image change.
In the run-up to last month’s regional elections, the RN was high in the polls, but won none of its 13 voting districts. The disappointing result raised questions about Le Pen’s strategy to make itself a more centrist force. It would have cost her the voices of protest.
In her speech, the 52-year-old made a special appeal to the “yellow vests” who organized weekly demonstrations in Paris and other cities in 2018 and 2019, during which they obtained various concessions from the government. Many yellow jackets saw the sometimes violent protests as evidence that the street was stronger than the ballot box. “The only yellow vest winner who doesn’t vote is Macron,” Le Pen warned.
“We were right”
She noted the intrinsic strength of the ideas that bind the RN. “We were right,” she said in her speech, among other things. “We were right about immigration, about the decline and cruelty of society, about globalization and many other topics that dominate political debate.”
Opinion polls show that the presidential election will be another duel between Le Pen and centrist President Emmanuel Macron, who faced each other in the second and final round of the 2017 elections. Macron has yet to announce whether he will run for a second term. Go. Judging by current opinion polls, he would have easily defeated Le Pen.
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