Forum vice-chair after Baudet’s departure: ‘Better to respond to unrest’

Forum for Democracy could have responded better to the turmoil created by the party’s youth wing. For example, vice-president of Forum Lennart van der Linden reacts to the departure of Thierry Baudet as political leader and party leader. In the program WNL Haagse Lobby on NPO Radio 1, Van der Linden called that a pity. “He has taken responsibility and indicated that he will continue to support the party.”

Baudet is resigning due to unrest in the party about the youth department JFvD. It was discredited because of app groups in which anti-Semitic, extreme right-wing and homophobic comments were repeatedly made. App traffic between members of the youth branch was published in Het Parool. Yesterday the board of the JFvD decided withdraw temporarily. Party celebrities such as Theo Hiddema and Annabel Nanninga called for the youth party to lift and attacked Baudet. Baudet and the party administration did not want to go further than an internal investigation.

Van der Linden, also senator of Forum, states that it would have been better afterwards if the leadership of the party had intervened more quickly. “Looking back, that could have been better. The publication of Het Parool did contain some new facts. Concerns had been voiced by whistleblowers before, but some of them chose to play it now through the media. JFvD itself has said it will investigate. set. “

‘We have lost our figurehead’

Despite this, he does not think Baudet’s position had become untenable. “We said don’t do this, you have to do the job. But he was clear about it and then we have to respect that.” Baudet will remain on as a member of parliament and party chairman.

He does not blame Baudet himself. “We have lost our figurehead, the man who made our party great. I thought he was a fantastic party leader, who shaped our programs in terms of content. He has furthered the climate debate and EU criticism, among other things.”

Freek Jansen, chairman of the youth party and confidant of Baudet, is also withdrawing. He was number 7 on the list. “His situation was more difficult. There was a lot to do and he himself said it was too much about him. We also respected his decision to quit.”

The party top is currently meeting in Tiel for crisis talks. There may be party leader elections. Van der Linden says he is not a candidate to succeed Baudet as leader of the party.

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