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France's Jean-Marie Le Pen Slams Daughter's Idea to Change National Front's Name

© Sputnik / Galina Azule / Go to the mediabankThe leader of France's rightwing Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen. (File)
The leader of France's rightwing Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen. (File) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of French right-wing National Front (FN) party on Monday criticized the idea of his daughter, Marine Le Pen, the current head of the party, to change its name in a makeover effort.

Marine Le Pen on Sunday, after being re-elected the president of the FN, proposed to rebrand the party and rename it Rassemblement National (National Rally) in a bid to attract new voters.

"It would be a disaster to abandon the National Front name, I think. It is an essential point of reference. It is a real political murder," Jean-Marie Le Pen told France Inter broadcaster.

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The party founder said his daughter lacked imagination as he had already used the name she had proposed.

The party congress held in the city of Lille this weekend resulted in a personal snub for Jean-Marie Le Pen as it approved the decision to strip him of the title of honorary president. The party also removed the position itself.

"They got rid of the position of the honorary president, which precludes Marine Le Pen from ever becoming one, but I am keeping the title that the Congress gave me in 2011. That was to recognize my contribution and I think it would be extremely difficult to strip me of it," Jean-Marie Le Pen told the broadcaster.

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The FN party has attracted wide criticism over its harsh anti-immigration stance and faced accusations of racism and antisemitism. Marine Le Pen, who has been trying to soften the FN image for years, made it to the presidential run-off last year, but lost to the center-right candidate, Emmanuel Macron.

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