MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Republicans party under its current name dates back to May 2015, when the largest opposition party in France, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), under the leadership of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, changed its name. The Union for the Popular Movement was formed in 2002 to support the candidacy of Jacques Chirac in the presidential elections and remained the French ruling party until the defeat in the 2012 voting.
The new name of the party was approved at an extraordinary congress, which was held on May 28-29, 2015. The decision to rename the party was also approved by the results of the Internet vote of its supporters.
The supreme body of the party is the Congress, between the congresses the party is ruled by the National Council. The executive body is the Political Bureau.
The party chairman is elected for a term of five years by direct vote. The party's incumbent General Secretary is Bernard Accoyer.
The Republicans advocate the strengthening of the four "pillars" of the French Republic — school, business, family and secularism.
The party program includes reducing the tax on household incomes by 10 percent, decreasing government spending, lowering the number of migrants, amending the Labor Code as well as investing in agriculture.
In November 2016, The Republicans called on French President Francois Hollande to lift sanctions against Russia in connection with the cooperation between Moscow and Paris in the fight against Daesh.
The same month, ex-Prime Minister Francois Fillon won the presidential primaries, bypassing ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Alain Juppe.
After the defeat in the first round of the primaries, Sarkozy announced his departure from politics.
On March 7, 2017, the party unanimously supported the candidacy of Francois Fillon for the presidential elections. Fillon finished third with 20.01 percent of the votes.