Wednesday, 07 Dec 2022

Frances far-right National Rally elects new president to replace Le Pen

Frances far-right National Rally elects new president to replace Le Pen


Frances far-right National Rally elects new president to replace Le Pen

France's far-right National Rally (RN) has elected a 27-year-old from the Paris banlieue who joined the party as a teenager as its new president to replace Marine Le Pen.

The result means that for the first time since the party - originally the National Front - was created in 1972, it will not be run by a Le Pen.

Jordan Bardella, Le Pen's protege, who has been caretaker president for a year, beat Louis Aliot, 53, the mayor of Perpignan, a party heavyweight as well as Le Pen's former partner, by 85% to 15% of party members who voted.

There were cheers and a standing ovation as Le Pen announced the result. The handover comes at a tense time for the RN after one of its MPs was suspended from parliament for a racist outburst last week.

Addressing the party, Le Pen said that after more than a decade it was time to make way for someone new. Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, handed the reins to the youngest of his three daughters in 2011, who changed its name at a party conference in 2018.

Marine Le Pen is standing down as RN president to concentrate on directing its actions in the national assembly. She is still expected to wield significant power within the party's leadership.

"I am not leaving RN to take a holiday. I will be there where the country needs me," Le Pen told Saturday's party convention. She is widely expected to make another presidential bid in 2027.

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