Far-right MEP Jordan Bardera, 27, was elected on Saturday to replace Marine Le Pen as president of France’s far-right party, the National Assembly (RN).
Bardera won almost 85 percent of the votes cast by party members, while Le Pen’s former partner Louis Alliot won 15 percent.
For pro-party Verdella, who has already served as the party’s interim president for the past year, this would be a seamless transition.
He is the first party leader not to be part of the Le Pen family.
“I’m not leaving RN to take a vacation. I’m going where the country needs me.” Le Pen said at the party convention on Saturday.
She stepped down from the top position in 2021 after an unsuccessful run with Emmanuel Macron. She plans to represent her party in the upcoming presidential election in 2027.
Le Pen made his mark on the party by undermining some of his father’s anti-immigrant and euroskeptic policies. In 1972 his father Jean-Marie founded the party.
Bardera on the front lines
Bardera stands out within the party as a resourceful and shrewd representative who clashed with Marcon’s ministers and parliamentarians on French political television programs.
Raised by an Italian mother in a working-class suburb of Paris, his youth and exuberance are expected to attract non-traditional far-right French voters.
His meteoric rise in RN politics was sealed when he led the European election campaign in 2019 and won more seats than Marcon’s party.
Bardera came to power just one day after RN lawmakers shouted “Go back to Africa!” To the black congressman who was speaking during the session of Congress. MP Gregoire de Fournas has had his salary cut and been temporarily banned from Parliament after a racist outburst.
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20221105-bardella-27-suceeds-le-pen-as-head-of-france-s-national-rally-party Bardera, 27, succeeds Le Pen as leader of France’s National Rally Party