Far-right turmoil continues: Baudet now out as FvD chair, sudden resignation of MP Hiddema
Thierry Baudet is also stepping down as chairman of far-right nationalist party Forum voor Democratie (FvD), the party leadership said on Tuesday, NOS reports. Shortly after that announcement, a goodbye letter from FvD Member of Parliament Theo Hiddema was read aloud during a debate.
On Monday, Baudet announced that he will no longer be FvD leader, due to unrest caused by anti-Semitic and homophobic messages sent by members of the party's youth division JFvD. It was initially agreed that he would remain the chairman of the party, but on Tuesday it was decided that it would be better if he distanced himself from that role too. Baudet will keep his current seat in parliament.
Vice chairman Lennart van der Linden will temporarily fill the role of chairman. "In the coming period, we will work on a good and careful transition," Van der Linden said to NOS. The FvD also distanced itself from the youth movement.
The party board will now focus on appointing a new party leader and drawing up a list of candidates for next year's parliamentary elections. Joost Eerdmans, who was fourth on the original list of candidates, wants to take Baudet's place as party leader, according to the broadcaster.
Hiddema's departure was also sudden, with the 76-year-old having split from Baudet after calling for the former party leader to take a more aggressive stance against the JFvD. His farewell letter was read to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament, by the house president, Khadija Arib.
His resignation had immediate effect.