Turmoil in new populist party; two members expelled

New nationalist party FvD expelled two party members because they tried to seize power, Thierry Baudet's party said in a statement. The members involved are ex-senator Robert De Haze Winkelman and Betty Jo Wevers, both former members of ruling party VVD, ANP reports.

According to a FvD statement, the two members tried in "an improper way and through threats and malicious gossip to actively counteract the controlled expansion fo the party and to take over the party management". Such behavior is unacceptable, the party said. The FvD learned lessons "from previous perils in other democratic renewal movements. To protect the integrity of the party and the further development of the party organization, this decision was unfortunately inevitable."

De Haze Winkelman responded with a series of scathing posts on Twitter: "Anyone who advocates for opener relations and an internal party democracy will be expelled by the FvD celebrities, who are trying to hijack the party because their supremacy must be upheld", one tweet read. And: "It is a bloody shame that a party that claims to want to restore democracy is conducting a reign of terror in its own party and that every member who wants to change something is immediately put down as an enemy of the party."

This is not the only commotion to affect the party this past week. Candidate FvD councilor in Amsterdam Kristina Türkmen removed her Twitter account on Monday after a some of her tweets caused a stir, according to NU.nl. On Sunday she tweeted: "Gone with Mark Rutte and [Angela] Merkel. Along with your multicultural, especially the anti-Western & anti-Semitic & beastly Islamization culture. Behind bars with dry bread and water without pay." On Monday morning some 800 tweets were removed from Türkmen's feed and on Monday afternoon her entire Twitter account was removed.

Last week a statement FvD member Yernaz Ramautarsing made in 2016 caused an uproar in Amsterdam. He said that Dutch with dark skin color are less intelligent than other races. This statement resulted in the D66, GroenLinks and PvdA saying they will not work with the FvD after the elections. 

And over the weekend Baudet pressed charges of defamation and slander against Deputy Prime Minister Kasja Ollongren after she accused him of bringing race into the political debate and denounced him for not distancing himself from Ramautarsing's statements.