Macron’s party announces name change and centrist alliance

French President Emmanuel Macron's party has announced a name change and an alliance with two other centrist groups ahead of the parliamentary elections in June.

Macron's party announces name change and centrist alliance
French centre-right party MoDem president speaks next to LREM party's head Stanislas Guerini during a press conference (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

Stanislas Guerini, the delegate general of LREM (La République en marche), announced at a press conference on Thursday that LREM would be changing its name. The presidential party will now be called “Renaissance.”

During the conference in Paris, Guerini said that the new name will allow the six-year-old political party to “rebuild” and “continue expanding its political movement.” Guerini explained that the party will “always make the choice of enlightenment against obscurantism.”

READ ALSO When are the French parliamentary elections and why are they important?

This is not the first time the party has changed its name.

When it was formed as a grassroots group in 2016 it was called En marche ! (on the march), but later dropped the exclamation mark.

After Emmanuel Macron won the presidency in 2017, the party added ‘La République’ to the name, becoming La République en marche (The republic on the march) commonly shortened to LREM.

Although the party has worked hard to grow as an organisation, it is still widely considered ‘Macron’s party’ and supporters are commonly known simply as macronistes

The latest iteration of the party comes as Macron has won a second term as president, but faces a tough battle to win a majority in the parliamentary elections in June.

The party is also facing the prospect of having to fight the 2027 election with a new candidate – in France presidents can only have two consecutive terms.

Guerini spoke at a joint press conference with Richard Ferrand, the LREM president in the French parliament, François Bayrou of the ‘MoDem’ party which currently forms a group with LREM and Edouard Philippe of the ‘Horizons’ party.

Philippe, currently mayor of Le Havre, is Macron’s former prime minister and is widely believed to be planning his own bid for the presidency in 2027. He formed the Horizons party last year, with the declared intention of consolidating the centre group in French politics.

The three announced that they will be creating a federation called “Ensemble” to bring together these three parties in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The announcement comes after the four major leftist parties (the far-left La France Insoumise, the Greens, the centre-left Parti Socialiste and the Communists) their own alliance in order to fight the parliamentary elections. 

OPINION France’s left alliance is an optical illusion and will not win

The centrist alliance essentially consolidates votes in the parliamentary elections into ‘blocks’ of leftist of centrist voters. The right – far-right Rassemblement National under Marine Le Pen, centre-right Les Républicains and Eric Zemmour’s extreme right block – has no agreement.

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French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.