Bardella, 27, suceeds Le Pen as head of France's National Rally party

AFP - VALERY HACHE

Far-right European Parliament member Jordan Bardella, 27, was elected to succeed Marine Le Pen as president in the French far-right political party, National Rally (RN), on Saturday.

Bardella won nearly 85 percent of the votes cast by party members, while Louis Aliot, Le Pen’s former partner, received 15 percent.

It will be a seamless transition for party loyalist Bardella, who was already working as interim president for the party during the past year.

He is the first party president who is not a member of the Le Pen family.

"I am not leaving RN to take a holiday. I will be there where the country needs me," Le Pen said at the party convention on Saturday.

She had stepped down from the top job in 2021 as she unsuccessfully ran against Emmanuel Macron. She is slated to represent the party for the next presidential election in 2027.

Le Pen made her mark on the party by toning down some of her father’s anti-immigrant, eurosceptic policies. Her father, Jean-Marie, founded the party in 1972.

Bardella at the fore

Bardella stands out in the party as the quick-witted, slick representative who has sparred with Macron ministers and MPs on French political TV shows.


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