The far-right party must transform into a "rallying point to form a majority," Le Pen said at a party congress. She has tried to capitalize on a newfound visibility after her near-success at the presidential election.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday proposed renaming the National Front (FN) party to "Rassemblement National," which translates as National Rally or National Union.
"This name, National Front, bears an epic and glorious history," Le Pen said during a two-day party congress in the northern French city of Lille, but she added that it was a "psychological hurdle" for many in France.
The far-right leader has tried to capitalize on its newfound visibility by rebranding the party and shaking off its troublesome history of anti-Semitism.
France: Le Pen proposes far-right party name change
She said the party was capable of governing "in the eyes of all" and needed to transform itself into a "rallying point to form a majority." In order for the name change to go ahead, a majority of party members will have to back it in a mail-in vote.
Jean-Marie, who founded the FN in 1972, did not attend the congress. He was expelled from the party in 2015 for making anti-Semitic remarks but had maintained his position as the party's honorary president for life. The new bylaw does away with the position of president for life.
In a call to arms for right-wing politics, Bannon, a former White House adviser under Donald Trump, told FN supporters that "history is on our side," citing surging support for right-wing populist politics in Italy, Poland, Hungary and the US.
Bannon addresses France's far-right party congress