Marine Le Pen to be re-elected to lead France’s far-right National Rally

Marine Le Pen won re-election as head of France’s far-right National Rally on Sunday at a party congress as she seeks new impetus for her 2022 presidential bid after performing poorly in regional polls.

The National Rally (RN), which had been tipped for strong gains in last month’s regional elections, continued to struggle after failing to win one of the 13 regions in mainland France.

The results raised questions about Le Pen’s strategy to detoxify her party’s brand and position it as a more mainstream right-wing force.

But she faced no challenge to party leadership, with her quest for a fourth term winning the support of 98.35 percent of members in an online and postal vote, RN announced on the second day of her southern congress. city ​​of Perpignan.

The 52-year-old trained lawyer is expected to use a keynote address later Sunday to try to rally troops for the presidential election.

Polls show the election amounts to another duel between Le Pen and centrist President Emmanuel Macron, who handily defeated the anti-immigration candidate in the second round of the 2017 election.

But that scenario is no longer seen as a foregone conclusion.

Macron is also seen as weakened by his Republic on the Move (LREM) party’s poor performance in regional elections.

Founded in 2016, LREM finished last among the major parties, winning just 7 percent of the vote in the second round in an election marked by record low turnout.

(AFP)

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