Marine Le Pen’s National Front party to change its name after Emmanuel Macron French election defeat
Defeated French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has vowed to renew her party.
The National Front (FN) candidate suffered a landslide loss in Sunday’s election, scraping barely one third of votes in the second round of France’s presidential election.
Macron won the election taking 66.1 percent of the vote, compared to the 33.9 percent won by Le Pen.
Le Pen told party backers that the National Front party would undergo a “profound transformation” following the loss.
“The National Front must also renew itself,” Le Pen told supporters near Paris after initial exit polls put her at 34% of the vote.
“I will therefore start the process of a deep transformation of our movement … I call upon all patriots to join us.”
The party’s Vice President, Florian Philippot, who is gay, said the party must now undergo major change, with a new name being inevitable.
The move was reportedly considered during the election campaign, but not acted upon.
“Marine Le Pen said it clearly: the National Front will change,” said Philippot, thought to be Le Pen’s closest adviser.
“It’s going to change into a new political force which, necessarily, will not have the same name.”
Parliamentary elections are due in the country in June.
The FN holds just two parliamentary seats currently, but is hoping to increase that number to 20 following the presidential election.
Emmanuel Macron was elected the next president of France following the race between him and far-right Le Pen.
He ended up with just shy of two-thirds of all the votes, higher than the 60% hoped for.
Macron is a staunch supporter of LGBT rights and equality, having dedicated an entire section of his manifesto to addressing issues that the LGBT community faces.
The newly elected president, who is the youngest president to ever be elected in France, has pledged to end everyday homophobia as well as workplace anti-LGBT discrimination.
He has also promised to defend equal marriage, a legislation that Macron has deemed “an enrichment of what the family is in France that shows its importance to all of us”.
His anti-LGBT opponent, Le Pen, had promised to abolish the law that created marriage equality in the country, burying the policy in a manifesto of 144 pledges.
She also outlined plans to restrict access to fertility services and prevent gay couples from having children.
Macron, who recently appeared to be topless on gay magazine Garçon, has committed to opening up IVF and other fertility treatments to single women and female same-sex couples.
The centrist politician has failed to pledge to change strict surrogacy laws because of the opposition he would face, but promised that children born via international surrogacy would have their rights protected.
It is believed she made inroads with white conservative gay voters by playing off concerns about Islamic extremism, despite her manifesto promise to scrap same-sex marriage.
In an interview with the Russian controlled news outlet Sputnik, National Assembly member Nicolas Dhuicq claimed that “there is very wealthy gay lobby” behind Macron with a number of “open homosexuals” close to him.
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