PoliticsAliot or Bardella to replace Le Pen, what does...

Aliot or Bardella to replace Le Pen, what does it change for the RN?

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Within the National Rally, it is a (very small) revolution. For the first time in its history, the party (ex-FN) will not be led by a member of the Le Pen* family. Marine Le Pen has already indicated for several weeks that she was dedicated to managing the group of 89 deputies in the National Assembly and would not be a candidate for re-election.

Two men are in the running to succeed him on November 5, during a vote by activists at a congress in Paris. Jordan Bardella, MEP and interim president, will face Louis Aliot, the mayor of Perpignan. But basically, does it really change anything for the party?

Two candidates “with different sensitivities”

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Since the announcement of their candidacies, Louis Aliot and Jordan Bardella have presented themselves on the same line: social and identity. But their supporters do their best to point out the nuances between the two men. “There is no line difference, but different sensitivities, favorite subjects linked to their backgrounds, such as harkis and black feet for Louis Aliot”, assures Julien Rancoule, RN deputy for Aude. “As an elected official, he has a real local vision, and he knows the problems of peripheral France. He carries that voice, that of people who are often forgotten. France does not stop at Paris, there is the province too,” he adds.

In the Bardella camp, more emphasis is placed on the role of the young MEP in the success of recent years. “He brilliantly led the European campaign in 2019 and participated in the success of the last legislative elections, when Louis Aliot was entrenched in his Pyrenees Orientales, blows one of the MEP’s supporters. Everyone loves Louis, but Jordan is the future. With him, we will have a real leader. He will continue to bring up new figures, structure the party and establish it in the territory. »

A single line: that of Marine Le Pen

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If it is difficult to distinguish the substantive differences between the two, it is that at the National Rally, there is only one line: that of Marine Le Pen. “We have a duel, but it is well framed. In all the positions of responsibility, and even the departmental secretaries, there is no sensitivity that diverges from the line it has set”, remarks Jean-Yves Camus, specialist in the far right, and director of the Observatory of political radicalism of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation. For this reason, the person concerned has also announced that she would not risk taking sides. “In reality, they are on the political line on which I myself have been elected several times, which I defend in the RN and which I had already defended within the National Front for more than twenty years”, said the member for Hénin-Beaumont last week at a press conference.

Not insignificant, therefore, to see the two camps mark their proximity to “Marine”, whose popularity never wanes among activists. “Louis Aliot has always been faithful and upright. He greatly participated in the modernization of the party and the seizure of power by Marine Le Pen, ”assures Julien Rancoul. “Marine Le Pen’s true continuity is Jordan. It is also to him that she entrusted the keys to the truck during the last presidential campaign, ”replied one of his supporters.

New step in demonization

The issue of the ballot is probably elsewhere. Since Marine Le Pen took the reins of the FN in 2011, she has carefully applied the same strategy: trying to demonize her father’s party to make people forget about its sulphurous past. The election of a new president at its head is only a new stage in the process. “It’s good that there are two candidates, it shows that we are a great democratic movement. Our members will have a real choice, between two important and quality personalities. We continue our evolution, our change to one day take power, ”says Gilles Pennelle, RN executive responsible for federations.

Beyond the duel, it will be especially the first time since 1972, and the creation of the FN, that the president elected by the militants will be neither Jean-Marie nor Marine Le Pen. “There is the will to break with the dynastic era. This is a new step in the standardization strategy undertaken by Marine Le Pen for more than ten years. But even without being president, Marine Le Pen will remain the one who sets the tone, ”assures Jean-Yves Camus. An end of dynasty, at least on paper.

*Jordan Bardella has served as interim president since September 2021.

Source: 20minutes

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