"Blessed are those who joined the party after its 2007 electoral defeat. They must never forget the amount of sacrifices that were made to build the Front National and to prepare it to save the nation," said Le Pen who co-founded the far-right party in 1972 and was its president until 2011.
In his speech at the 15th Front National Convention in Lyon, the former leader blamed France’s massive immigration as being the main cause of the country’s decline.
The Convention which takes place every three years reunites members of the FN to elect its leader and to discuss about the issues surrounding the party. Marine Le Pen who won leadership in 2011 should be re-elected this year as she doesn't face any opponents.
The 86-year-old also took the opportunity to renew his faith that his daughter Marine Le Pen – the party’s leader – would one day become President. “The sooner the better because France’s situation keeps getting worse,” he said.
More than one French person out of three has a “good opinion” of the far-right party’s president Marine Le Pen, according to a poll published by the research institute Odoxa on Saturday.
Forty-three percent of the surveyed people believe the Front National’s increasing popularity is linked to the economic context while 36% think it is because of the difficulties other French political parties have been facing.
Only 11% say this increasing popularity is due to Marine Le Pen’s personality and 9% to her political agenda.