Baudet accused of vote buying; Still no response from far-right leader
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) in Den Bosch received a complaint accusing FvD leader Thierry Baudet of inciting vote buying. Baudet is the only party leader that hasn't responded to the interim results of the 2021 parliamentary election yet.
The complaint was filed by Frank de Bie, the former director of the Den Bosch local broadcaster. The reason for the complaint was an excerpt from a FvD live stream in which Baudet explained that FvD members can "arrange" proxies for the election, De Bie said to De Telegraaf.
"If you do not vote, your vote does not count and that is why it is so important that people who have a warm heart for FvD make people in their environment enthusiastic to give them proxies," Baudet said in the live stream. "People who may not be that politically involved, they may want to give you a proxy, so that you can vote several times. So one person can actually vote four times, as long as you arrange those proxies."
De Bie "fell of his chair" when he saw that, he said to the newspaper. "Obviously this is buying votes and that is not allowed. I remember that in the nineties people in Den Bosch went door to door to collect proxies. That was quite a row at the time." He approached the Electoral Council, who told him to go to the police if he suspects a crime was committed. He did that on Monday.
Actively approaching voters and asking them to issue a proxy so that you can vote in their stead is called buying and is punishable by law. A spokesperson for the FvD denied a few weeks ago that this was what Baudet was doing in the live stream. She said that FvD members should "only address people who already intended to vote by proxy, but have difficulty finding a proxy. In that case it is explicitly not a question of buying."
The OM in Den Bosch confirmed to the Telegraaf that it is looking into a report of vote buying against Baudet.
According to the 7:00 a.m. prognosis by ANP, the FvD got eight parliamentary seats in the election - six more than in 2017. So far Baudet had nothing to say about that. NOS even sent reporters to the FvD office in Amsterdam, but could not get a response. This prompted hashtags like #baudexit and #waarisbaudet, which translates to 'where is Baudet', to trend on social media.