At the Congress of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen faced with doubts about her line

The convention center of Perpignan, the day before the congress of the National Gathering, July 2, 2021. CYRIL BITTON / DIVERGENCE FOR “THE WORLD”

There is hardly one stake, for Marine Le Pen, during this 17e Congress of the National Rally (RN), July 3 and 4 in Perpignan: remobilize the troops. The president will be triumphantly re-elected on Sunday and, whatever the new configuration of the national council, the parliament of the party that the militants will elect, it has little power. It can add its candidates without a vote, and firmly holds the apparatus: only the national office counts, where it has a discretionary right of nomination. But the president of the far-right party is too shrewd not to feel that enthusiasm has seriously subsided in the movement, and that the failure of the regional, after the disappointing parachuting of opening candidates, has increased the discontent of the local activists. No one will dare in Congress to challenge his leadership, but nine months before the presidential election, doubts are emerging as never before.

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The congress, which is held every three years, falls rather badly, too early in any case for the defeat to have been digested. The RN lost 30% of its elected officials and won neither a region nor a department, while Marine Le Pen had repeated throughout the campaign that the territorial elections would be the stepping stone of its success in 2022. “There is an electoral sequence that includes departmental, regional, presidential, she had assured, May 21. We need all the communities to be turned towards the same objective, in support of the State policy that I will lead when I am President of the Republic, I need the departments to accompany these changes. “

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Marine Le Pen will have to concede some disappointments during her speech on Sunday, but self-criticism is not the cardinal virtue of the party and there is hardly any alternative political line. “In the summer of 2016, Marine Le Pen gave a speech to his troops who had been one of his best and had over-motivated them for the presidential election, recalls Nicolas Lebourg, historian and specialist of the extreme right. The problem is that even if she gave a brilliant speech, there will always be this questioning about the post-May 2022: if she fails the presidential election, what will she do and what will become of the party? “

In camera adjustments

The National Front, at the time, made its aggiornamento in July 2017, the day after the failure of the presidential election, and has since abandoned several main lines of its program: the exit from the euro, European Schengen, the European Court of Human Rights … Too fast, too brutally perhaps for his electorate. “I hope there will be a debate, we have to analyze things well and respond to them in an effective way, admitted Louis Aliot, the RN mayor of Perpignan, on July 2 on Sud Radio. Because the electorate is waiting for a certain number of developments, reforms to be initiated, and these presidential elections should be an opportunity to review a little the way of practicing politics. “

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