French populist leader Marine Le Pen made her first public appearance in several weeks Thursday as she tries to relaunch the National Front party.
Le Pen and the National Front decided is was time to rebrand the party after she suffered a crushing defeat against Emmanuel Macron in May’s presidential election. The party was handed another major blow in June when it failed to reach its aim of winning 15 seats in parliament.
Internal differences have led to firings and resignations during the summer and Le Pen is open to criticism from her supporters.
“You know that we are engaged in the deep relaunch of the National Front,” Le Pen said during a television appearance Thursday, according to Le Figaro. “I think we can talk about everything. I think we even have the right to criticize. As far as I am concerned, I hear the criticisms, including when they are addressed to me.”
The party establishment has discussed a name change to disassociate itself from its past. Le Pen has also flirted with the idea of taking a softer stance toward the European Union and the Eurozone.
Le Pen will give her annual address Saturday under the theme “France of the forgotten.” The party is planning a congress in early 2018 to make the relaunch official.
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