Accelerated training, poaching at Zemmour ... How the RN is organized after its unexpected success

Accelerated training, poaching at Zemmour … How the RN is organized after its unexpected success

After having multiplied by 10 the number of its elected members in the National Assembly, it is time to organize the new group of Marine Le Pen. Sponsorship by party figures, training … To leave nothing to chance, the RN also plans to recruit parliamentary collaborators on the side of Generation Z.

No one really expected such a breakthrough, not even within the National Rally. The unexpected performance of the party, which managed to elect 89 deputies after the legislative elections, could well overheat a movement that had never weighed so much in the Chamber of the National Assembly. But Marine Le Pen did not let anything show through the difficulties that are looming when the RN deputies arrive at the Palais-Bourbon this Wednesday morning.

“We are going to do a job of great importance with great seriousness,” said the former presidential candidate, before joining the elected deputies all smiles for a class photo on the steps of the Assembly.

Deputies scrutinized closely

The hardest part begins, however, for the RN: managing to support a very important parliamentary group, unprecedented for the far right under the Fifth Republic. With the exception of two years, between 1986 and 1988, when the National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen had between 32 and 35 deputies, the RN only sat in dribs and drabs in the National Assembly, among non-registered members, with 2 parliamentarians between 2012 and 2017 (Marion Maréchal and Gilbert Collard) then 8 between 2017 and 2022.

“I promise, we will not put on the same show as LaREM 5 years ago”, assures Gilles Pennelle, the general delegate of the RN federations who notably validated one by one all the candidacies for the legislative elections of his party.

Understand: there is no question of multiplying the hiccups in the coming weeks, unlike some Macronist deputies during their first steps in 2017.

“We filtered well, well ‘screened all the profiles'”, he assures: all the candidates saw their digital existence scrutinized before being invested to avoid ending up with candidates – and a fortiori deputies – whose comments on social networks could be problematic, as was the case in 2017.

Sulphurous profiles nevertheless remain in the ranks, like Frédéric Boccaletti: just elected deputy of the Var, this close friend of Jean-Marie Le Pen was sentenced in the 2000s to one year in prison, including six months closed “for violence in meetings with weapons” and former owner of a far-right bookstore.

Regulars of the media… and many neophytes

At the RN, we prefer to boast of new faces who will “learn very quickly”: several executives quote the deputy of Gironde, Edwige Diaz, who in just 24 hours, toured many television sets or Laurent Jacobelli and Julien Odoul , long-time media regulars.

But alongside these profiles who have made their mark in the executives of regional councils, there are also political neophytes like Jorys Bovet, only 24 years old. This delivery driver, elected in the Allier, took his card from the RN in 2020. In all, like him, around twenty new deputies have never had a local mandate.

What push the party to do accelerated training. All elected officials will be gathered around Marine Le Pen and party executives this Thursday to learn how the parliamentary mechanism works.

“We also made sure to send basic messages for our entrance: suit and tie for men, jacket for women. We never look too serious”, assures a member of his entourage.

New very “supervised”

The time will hardly be for political autonomy. On the menu for the next few weeks: “media training” and practical training “to know how to make legislative proposals and know how to criticize government texts”, explains Thibaut de la Tocnaye, economic adviser to Marine Le Pen and leader of the one of the training institutes for RN elected officials.

“We will also supervise all the deputies in demand by those who know the house well, already elected in 2017, such as Bruno Bilde or Sébastien Chenu”, also recognizes the vice-president of the party David Rachline.

To ensure that this “sponsorship” between the regulars of the Palais-Bourbon and the new ones works well, its principle has been recorded in the national office.

Dozens of employees to recruit

Another hot topic on the table: the recruitment of collaborators from deputies as well as from the group.

“We have to find between 300 and 350 … It’s really a lot,” said a newly elected deputy, worried about the magnitude of the task ahead.

“We are all receiving a lot of CVs at the moment,” laughs Gilles Penelle. “Our mailboxes are exploding.” The difficulties that the party had in finding good collaborators in the European Parliament in 2014 when it had elected 24 deputies remain however in the memories.

“We need to find hard-working people, with a well-made head, good reflexes, capable of guiding their deputy through the mysteries of the Assembly. It’s really not easy. Locally, it’s going to be fine because we always have activists with whom we campaigned who are in favor. In Paris, I don’t really know”, recognizes a deputy.

Generation Z to the rescue?

Among the profiles in which the RN could make its market, we find in particular young people from … Generation Z, the youth movement with Éric Zemmour. Surprisingly, after Marine Le Pen and the former columnist clashed throughout the presidential campaign and she refused any alliance with Reconquest in the legislative elections.

“It hurts the heart to say it but with Zemmour, young people are more qualified, often with degrees in law or studies at Sciences Po. And often, they are more experienced in social networks”, recognizes a former RN who has since distanced himself.

Proof that the pool of zemmourists seduces: the approach is publicly assumed. “We look at all the CVs and regardless of the political horizons of the past. If we have people who want to go a long way with us, we will be able to agree”, recognizes David Rachline. For the RN, professionalization in the National Assembly also involves forgiveness.

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