07:37 GMT18 February 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    PARIS (Sputnik) - The idea of French right-wing National Front (FN) party to rebrand itself and change its name shows readiness to collaborate with other political forces, but the party should be prepared to compromise to find partners, experts told Sputnik.

    Party president Marine Le Pen announced the idea to change the name to Rassemblement National (the National Rally) on Sunday, at the end of the party congress in the city of Lille.

    Ready to Collaborate

    Le Pen, re-elected president this weekend, wants to rebrand the party, which celebrated its 45th anniversary last October, and to attract new voters. The FN has often faced allegations of racism and antisemitism, but Marine Le Pen has been trying for years to mellow the party image.

    The party, which has seven seats in the 577-seat National Assembly and one sear in the 348-seat Senate, needs political partners, Daniel Boy, a senior researcher at CEVIPOF think tank, told Sputnik.

    "[FN's] number one task is not the same as it was in the beginning, being a party of protest, but a party looking to getting the power. Clearly for that it needs a partner; it’s impossible that they could do it alone. So the most important conclusion of this change [of name] is a display of the fact that party wishes to have a partner in order to come to power," Boy explained.

    Change of Policy

    The FN needs to change more than its name if it wants to attract new partners, and that might prove difficult for the party, Pascal Perrineau, a researcher at Sciences Po University in Paris, told Sputnik.

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

    "One needs a deliberate strategy to find partners, or to have the program evolve, or be ready to compromise. Compromise is not in the culture of the National Front. That’s the main problem. They don’t have culture of compromise, no culture to sit down at the table with those they disagree with and negotiate," Perrineau said.

    The scholar described the proposed change as a "cosmetic" operation because the leadership of the party as well as its political stance remained the same as before.

    "This operation stays largely cosmetic, with Marine Le Pen trying to regain control of the leadership, because she knows that she is being challenged from within the party," Perrineau concluded.

    Adjusting Program

    The FN were able to test the attractiveness of their political program during the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections, and some of their ideas need to be tweaked, Perrineau said.

    READ MORE: Bannon to France's National Front: 'Tide of History Will Compel Us to Victory'

    "Their position regarding the euro wasn’t understood by the public opinion. Their discourse on immigration is seen by many of the French as violent, as confrontational rhetoric, and the French, even though they are worried about immigration, they don’t want confrontation either," the researcher said.

    The FN party is strongly against immigration and urges for the tightening of the French borders. It has also suggested quitting the eurozone and returning to franc. Marine Le Pen made it to the presidential run-off, but lost to markedly pro-European Emmanuel Macron.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    France's Jean-Marie Le Pen Slams Daughter's Idea to Change National Front's Name
    Russian Military Demands Al-Rahman Legion Group to Cut Ties With Nusra Front
    Bannon to France's National Front: 'Tide of History Will Compel Us to Victory'
    Show Must Go On: Steve Bannon Set to Address French National Front
    Russia Has Evidence West Trying to Save Nusra Front for Regime Change - Lavrov
    Russia Has No Evidence US-Led Coalition Targets Nusra Front Terrorists - Lavrov
    change, name, Front National, France
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook