Far-right revolt: Massive exodus from Baudet's FvD
This week has been a rough one for far-right nationalist party Forum voor Democratie. Since reports of its youth division JFvD sending homophobic and Antisemitic messages among each other, and founder Thierry Baudet announcing his resignation as party leader and chairman and then later announcing that he will be running for party leader again, the party has been losing members at an alarming rate.
On Monday, Freek Jansen, chairman of JFvD and candidate parliamentarian, left the party after the party leadership gave him an ultimatum due to the Antisemitic and homophobic messages. On Tuesday, Theo Hiddema stepped down as parliamentarian and Paul Cliteur stepped down as Senator. Cliteur is still a member of the FvD. Both Hiddema and Cliteur expressed support for Baudet.
On Thursday, Hans Smolders, withdrew his name from the FvD's list of candidates for next year's parliamentary elections. He was number 10 on the list, NU.nl reports. "From the national FvD I will withdraw in the same way as Paul Cliteur and Theo Hiddema have done before me," he said in a statement.
A short time later, candidate parliamentarians Joost Eeerdmans, and Eva Vlaardingerbroek jointly left the FvD, along with Senators Nicki Pouw-Verweij and Annabel Nanninga, who is also a city councilor in Amsterdam. In a joint statement they said that do not want to belong to a party that tolerates extremist views. Following Nanninga, her fellow councilor Kevin Kreuger also decided to leave the FvD. The duo will retain their seats in the Amsterdam city council. Nanninga and Pouw-Verweij will also continue as independent Senators.
Almost immediately after the above statement was published, four of the five FvD members in the Provincial Council of Overijssel left the party. They will continue together as a new faction, according to NU.nl. "We are leaving the FvD circus," they said on Twitter. "After all that has happened, the board should have expelled Thierry Baudet long ago."
There was also a mass exodus at the FvD in Flevoland on Thursday evening. Five of the six FvD members of States left the party. Faction chairman Gert-Jan Ransijn told Omroep Flevoland that the five "have no confidence that the board of the FvD will solve the crisis around Thierry Baudet."
Secretary Astrid de Groot, one of the three FvD board members who turned against Thierry Baudet, also left the party on Thursday, sources said to NU.nl.
On Friday, the FvD lost another four senators - Bob van Pareren, Toine Beukering, Hugo Berkhout, and Otto Hermans. "A party that does not distance itself from racism, Antisemitism and Nazism is not our party," Van Pareren said on Twitter. They will keep their seats in the Senate and Provincial States, but will no longer be associated with the FvD.