Women and the National Front/Le Front national et les femmes
Paris : CEVIPOF
Our study of the French Front National faced two difficulties. The first was the recent split of the party in two, the former FN faithful to its founder and president Jean-Marie Le Pen, and another FN launched by the ex-delegate-general of the party, Bruno Mégret (see Darmon and Rosso 1999, Ivaldi 1999, Camus 2000). Relations between the two men were never easy but their rivalry took a sharp turn during the summer of 1998, when Le Pen decided that if he were to be declared ineligible by a court decision, and could not run in the European elections, the list of the FN would be led by his wife Jany and not by the delegate-general. Mégret publicly protested and appealed to the party base, calling for an exceptional congress to settle the matter, which took place in Marignane (23-24 January 1999). Mégret rallied two thirds of the party federations and was elected president of the new Front national-Mouvement national (FNMN), while the historical FN went back to its former name Front national pour l’Unité française (FNUF). On May 11 though, through a court decision, Bruno Mégret lost the right to use the name „Front national“ and his party became the MNR: Mouvement national républicain (...).