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National Rally marks 50th anniversary with symposium on far-right 'victories'

By RFI
Europe National Rally marks 50th anniversary with symposium on far-right 'victories'
OCT 5, 2022 LISTEN

France's far-right National Rally is marking the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the party – formerly known as the National Front – by hosting a symposium on the 'victories' the movement has enjoyed over the past five decades.  

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Rally on Wednesday, Marine Le Pen said she considers her far-right party is "ready to govern France."

Le Pen also paid tribute to "all the activists who for 50 years have worked for the national cause."

In a tweet Le Pen wrote: "The National Rally is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary today. From a protest party, we have turned it into a party ready to govern. Today, I would like to pay tribute to all the activists who, for 50 years, have worked for the national cause."

"The Rassemblement National is 50 years old. 50 years of democratic and republican life. Forerunner, visionary, resilient thanks to the strength of conviction of generations of activists, it has never stopped growing and evolving. From hope to power, we continue." 

Far-right symposium in Paris 

This Thursday, the National Rally will celebrate its anniversary by holding a "symposium" at the Palais Bourbon in Paris, which the party has dubbed "an opportunity to return to the ideological victories that [the National Rally] has registered." 

From a marginal group founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen, to becoming France's largest opposition party, the far-right movement has managed to prosper by surviving multiple political crises and now considers itself ready to rule.

During the first ten years of its existence, the National Front was a tiny group that gathered at most a few tens of thousands of voters and only managed to present a few dozen candidates in major elections.

No party in France has made as much electoral progress to become so deeply rooted in mainstream politics.

It must however be stressed that France is the only country in the Western democracies where a far-right party has continuously mobilised at least 10% of the electorate since 1984.

More recently, the party has solidified up to 25 percent of French voters and in 2022 the National Rally garnered more than 40 percent of the vote in the presidential elections.

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