Former top aide of U.S. President Donald Trump Steve Bannon told the French far right on Saturday that "history is on our side" as he addressed a National Front party conference that is seeking to bounce back from crushing electoral setbacks.
The party also re-elected his daughter, Marine Le Pen, to a new term as president at party congress where she was its only candidate for the post.
An overwhelming majority of the movement's adherents - 79 percent - have agreed to a new party structure that includes the creation of a 100-member governing council, and the retraction of an honorary title granting the party's founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, lifelong presidency.
He was finally banished from the party on Sunday, marking the final act in a vitriolic and highly personal power struggle between him and his daughter who took over the party in 2011. Le Pen wants to bury the National Front (FN) name that has been associated with her father Jean-Marie since 1972.
PARIS-After months of soul-searching over the National Front's decline, Marine Le Pen has proposed a solution: identity politics packaged in a new inclusive brand.
The anti-immigration and Euroskeptic party has suffered splits since its leader lost May's presidential race to Emmanuel Macron, with many key party leaders leaving to form their own parties.
Tillerson says Kenya should not stifle media, threaten courts
Tillerson had planned Saturday to attend an event for PEPFAR, the USA program to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. Chinese investment in the continent significantly outweighs USA investment.
The vote was announced by party vice president Jean-Francois Jalkh at the start of the second day of a congress that Marine Le Pen says is meant to relaunch the party.
Trump came close to endorsing Le Pen as she sought to defeat Macron past year.
Trump, who had campaigned touting similar views on immigration, Islam, trade, the European Union and Russian Federation, came close to endorsing Le Pen as she sought to defeat Macron past year. Wear it as a badge of honour. "Because every day we get stronger and they get weaker", Bannon told the audience. "Without a name change, we will not be able to forge alliances".
Radical left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said for his part that by proposing the name change Le Pen "is dreaming of being a party like the others".
He expressed his unequivocal support for the anti-establishment, ultra-nationalist Le Pen and, in a show of populist euphoria, called on followers to celebrate accusations of racism and xenophobia.
The new name must be approved by members in a mail vote.