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France’s National Rally plans to woo other right-wingers

In World
June 11, 2024

Following its win in the European elections, France’s right-wing populist National Rally (RN) wants to woo other right-wingers, including from the far-right Reconquest party, for the snap parliamentary elections called by President Emmanuel Macron.

“I myself am perfectly willing to discuss with personalities who do not come from the National Rally and who share the ambition to bring some of our ideas to power in a few weeks and – also within the framework of a cohabitation – to initiate the reconstruction of the country,” RN party leader Jordan Bardella said on Monday evening in Paris.

In France, cohabitation means that the president and the prime minister represent different political directions.

Bardella had his first meeting on Monday with Reconquest’s lead candidate for the European elections, Marion Maréchal.

“I wanted to have a chat with her and talk about our current endeavours to form the broadest possible majority,” Bardella said, adding that his party wanted to run with other right-wing parties as a national union in the parliamentary elections with the aim of taking over the government and the office of prime minister.

No agreements have yet been reached with Maréchal, he said: “At the moment, it’s all about discussions.”

National Rally received 31.36% of the vote in the European elections, while Reconquest achieved 5.47%.

Maréchal is the niece of National Rally parliamentary party leader Marine Le Pen and used to be active in her party before switching to the far-right rival party a good two years ago.

“It seems obvious to me that the 1 million voters of Reconquest must participate in this momentum around the RN,” Maréchal said after an initial discussion with Bardella and her aunt.

National Rally would like “to work with those in Reconquest who have taken a constructive stance towards the RN.”

Reconquest leader Éric Zemmour, who is at loggerheads with National Rally, could be an obstacle to a right-wing alliance. French media are also speculating about a return of Maréchal to National Rally.

French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party president Jordan Bardella smiles as he addresses militants after the first results announcement during an evening gathering of French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) on the final day of the European Parliament election, at the Pavillon Chesnaie du Roy in Paris. Julien De Rosa/AFP/dpa

French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party president Jordan Bardella smiles as he addresses militants after the first results announcement during an evening gathering of French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) on the final day of the European Parliament election, at the Pavillon Chesnaie du Roy in Paris. Julien De Rosa/AFP/dpa

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