Marine Le Pen was re-elected on Sunday as leader of France’s far-right National Rally party. She was expected to receive a new mandate at the head of the former National Front. Le Pen was the only candidate. She has been leading the party for about 10 years.
Rassemblement National brings together the rally in the southern city of Perpignan this weekend. The vote was held on Thursday and the results were announced on Sunday. Le Pen won with 98.35 percent of the vote, while the rest voted blank or void. The party did not say how many people voted.
Le Pen will suspend the presidency temporarily in the fall in preparation for next spring’s presidential election – party members have agreed to amend the statutes of an interim presidency.
Last weekend’s regional and local elections were a disappointment for Le Pen. Her party did not penetrate into any territory, and the right and left parties divided the spoils. In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, RN was the biggest in the first round, but the formation lost in the second. The victory went to the Republican right after the left-wing bloc withdrew from the second round. Nor could the centrist formation of President Emmanuel Macron win La République en Marche in any region.
Le Pen attributed the poor result to very low voter turnout. The vote caused unrest in the party, although there was no public resistance against Le Pen. The party hopes to win in at least one area. According to opinion polls, Le Pen will qualify for the second round in the presidential elections next year, along with Macron.
Hundreds of people demonstrated on Saturday in Perpignan to protest against the two-day National Assembly meeting, local media reported.
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