Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front, thinks it’s time for the party to rebrand after her failed bid for president last year.
She’s proposing the party be renamed “Le Rassemblement National” or “National Rally,” in an attempt to broaden its appeal. Party members will vote to approve the name change by postal ballot in the coming weeks.
Le Pen made the announcement during her keynote speech Sunday at the party’s congress in the northern French town of Lille.
The party also voted to re-elect Le Pen as the party’s leader and to sever all ties with her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front party in 1972.
Le Pen took over from her father as head of the party in 2011, in an attempt to cleanse its racist and anti-Semitic image. Ironically, the new name she has proposed is similar to the name of a fascist political party called “Le Rassemblement National Populaire,” or “National Popular Rally,” which existed between 1941 and 1944 and was one of the main components of the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis.
Le Pen shares her father’s core anti-immigration beliefs, which were central to her platform during the election last year. As a candidate, Le Pen looked to slash legal immigration from 200,000 to 10,000 “entries” per year in France, and wanted to see immigrants’ access to public services limited. She also believed that President Donald Trump’s victory in the United States would clear the way for her victory in France.
Le Pen believes that only her particular brand of political isolationism and economic nationalism can protect France from what she calls “Anglo-Saxon multiculturalism” and politically correct liberalism.
CNN’s Jamie Gray, Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell contributed to the content of this report.