14:48 GMT05 March 2021
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - French party National Front officially changed its name to "National Rally" (Rassemblement national), after the absolute majority of party members supported this decision, leader of the organization Marine Le Pen said Friday.

    Le Pen proposed the party's rebranding in early in March at the party congress in Lille in a bid to improve the party's reputation. From early May, the party members have been voting, answering whether they supported the change of name.

    "About 53 percent of the party members took part in the voting, with 80.81 percent [of those who voted] answered 'Yes' to the question whether they supported the change of the party's name. Therefore, on June 1, 2018, the 'National Front' officially becomes the 'National Rally,'" Marine Le Pen said, speaking in Lyon.

    The party's founder and Marine's father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was previously expelled from the party, condemned the renaming, calling it a "betrayal."

    "The shameful erasure of identity is the most serious blow that the 'National Front' has ever received since it was founded. Nothing good can come from this renunciation either for the movement itself or for the French, only adversaries and competitors will benefit from this betrayal," he said in a statement.

    The National Front party, founded in 1972, advocates for conservative values, limiting migration, and opposes European integration. At the last elections to the European Parliament, the party won 25.4 percent of the French vote.


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