Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party, La République en Marche, is changing its name to Renaissance as the French president tries to win a ruling majority in parliament for his second term.
The party’s rebranding was announced just as campaigning was due to begin for the June parliamentary elections. Macron hopes to secure a parliamentary majority in the face of competition from a new alliance of left-wing parties led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally, which is seeking to increase its small number of seats.
The name Renaissance meant “always to choose enlightenment rather than obscurantism”, declared its general secretary, Stanislas Guérini, during a press conference in Paris. Macron’s group had previously used the name Renaissance during its European election campaign in 2019.
“Political parties must reinvent themselves to continue to exist,” Guérini said, in a sharp reference to the poor presidential performance of the two former governing parties, the Socialists and The Republicans, whose candidates Anne Hidalgo and Valérie Pécresse had a score. combined by less than 7% in last month’s presidential election, in which Macron beat far-right Le Pen in the final.
The name change was also intended to help Macron’s party gain traction in local government, something it has failed to do for the past five years. “It will be a people’s party, open to citizens,” Guérini said, saying all expertise was welcome, especially from local elected officials who might join.
Macron had created the political movement En Marche! (On the Move) in 2016 when he was Minister of the Economy, as a vehicle for his presidential candidacy in 2017. She was classified as “neither left nor right” and presented at the time as deliberately non-conformist. It used Macron’s own initials, EM, and had a handwritten logo that was Macron’s own handwriting, with no specific color, unlike the rigid colors of the old party system.
En Marche was later renamed La République En Marche – The Republic on the Move – for the 2017 legislative elections, where Macron won a majority.
In next month’s legislative elections, the new Renaissance party will join forces with two other centrist parties: its traditional allies in the MoDem party, which backed Macron in the presidential election, as well as the new Horizons party, created by the former Prime Minister of Macron. , Edward Philip. They will form a coalition under the banner Together (Together).
Francois Bayrou, leader of the MoDem party, told the press conference in Paris that the centrist coalition shared the sense of “seriousness” in the current mood of political “divisions” in France. He said the opposition parties’ ideas were “more radical” and “more risky” for France and Europe.