Far-right politician thought he was poisoned in 2018 election debate
FvD leader Thierry Baudet thought that he had been poisoned in a 2018 election debate at De Balie in Amsterdam. He went to hospital afterwards to be tested for toxins, but all tests came back negative, according to the book Mijn meningen zijn feiten; De wording van Thierry Baudet by Harm Ede Bote and Mischa Cohen. Former party member Henk Otten claims that Baudet was trying to hide the fact that he was poorly prepared for the debate, Het Parool reports.
According to the book, Baudet went to the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam on the evening of 9 February 2018, following the debate in De Balie. According to Otten, Baudet told him that he had been poisoned during the debate. "I have been drugged. They put something in my glass," he quoted Baudet.
Otten found this unlikely, but he immediately realized that this was an opportunity for the FvD, he said to Parool. "If it were true, we could make a huge row. Baudet poisoned by Pechtold! That was the great enemy then." The glass was given to a security guard and Baudet and Otten went to the OLVG to have Baudet's urine and blood tested for traces of poisoning.
The two then went to the FvD office and drank a bottle of wine. The results of the laboratory tests came back negative, and the matter was left at that.
The debate in question was for the start of the political campaigns for the 2018 municipal elections, and the first time Baudet publicly debated the other party leaders. The debate did not go well for him. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold confronted him about discriminatory statements Baudet made in the past, which Baudet dismissed as lies and attempts to "demonize" him. PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher asked him about statements made by FvD member Yernaz Ramautarsing, who claimed that some ethnic groups had lower IQs than others. Baudet called this "lies, slander and endless nonsense", according to the newspaper.
Looking back, Otten thinks he knows what happened that night, he said to Parool. "Thierry had done dramatically badly in that debate," he said. "And so he blamed that glass. Because it is never his fault."
According to Parool, Baudet did not respond to requests for a comment.