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The militants of the National Rally began their 17th congress on Saturday in Perpignan, a week after the party’s bitter failure in regional elections. The creation of a “temporary presidency” of the party during the presidential campaign is already sharpening rivalries within the movement.
Fight against abstention, re-mobilize its voters without however questioning its strategy of “normalization”: these are the subjects on the menu of the discussions of the 17th congress of the National Rally (RN), which opened on Saturday July 3, in Perpignan .
Activists must also vote for a change in the statutes that will allow a temporary presidency of the party for 12 months in the event of a presidential campaign. In this case, the president of the RN will be replaced by the vice-president and, if there are several, by the “first of them”. The appointment of the latter could sharpen the rivalries between Jordan Bardella, head of the RN list in Île-de-France, and Louis Aliot, the mayor of Perpignan.
This question of the temporary presidency of the party is one of the main issues of this congress, according to Bruno Cautrès, political scientist at Cevipof interviewed on the antenna of France 24.
Still stunned by its defeat in the regional elections last week, the far-right party should not however question its strategy of “normalization” before the 2022 presidential election.
“I do not believe that Marine Le Pen has alternative strategies, her objective is to pierce the glass ceiling and she cannot if the RN remains on an extremely anxiety-provoking political message (…). If she intends to win the presidential election, it must attract voters who do not usually vote for the RN, “said Bruno Cautrès.
The mayor of Perpignan Louis Aliot, also a member of the party leadership, however wished to “wonder” about the “share of responsibility” of his training in this failure of the regional: it came out empty-handed and with 30% of regional elected representatives less.
The leaders of the RN, Marine Le Pen in the lead, first accuse the massive abstention, which particularly affected the young and the popular classes, voters of the RN. The means to combat it could be the subject of discussions at the congress.
>> To read : Why the regional elections say almost nothing about the 2022 presidential election
Asked Friday about those who consider that the RN has become too “trivialized”, Louis Aliot judged that it was “a false debate”. “When we were too radical, we were told ‘you will never make it’ and now that some people find us not radical enough, we are told ‘you never get it’.”
On “opening up” to candidates outside the party, which also drew criticism, Louis Aliot said he “preferred opening to closing”. “If it is so that some meet in the last square (…) of the radical right, it is their problem”, he said, by arguing his election in Perpignan “by opening the arms to others, on a project “.
Regarding the potential candidacy of polemicist Éric Zemmour, he felt that he had “his role in the debate on television” but that there was “a major difference between intellectual and cultural combat, and political combat “.
On the temporary presidency of the party during the presidential election, a position he covets as well as the number two of the party, Jordan Bardella, Louis Aliot assured that there was “no row” or “person”.