More cracks emerge in Forum, as co-founder is sidelined over parliament job

Thierry Baudet addresses the meeting in Paris. Photo: ECR Group via Twitter
Thierry Baudet addresses the meeting in Paris. Photo: ECR Group via Twitter

The founders of Dutch nationalist party Forum voor Democratie would appear to be embroiled in a power struggle following the party’s big wins in the provincial elections last month, Dutch media said on Thursday.

This weekend, co-founder and forthcoming Forum senate leader Henk Otten gave an interview to the NRC in which he criticised fellow founder and MP Thierry Baudet for moving into far-right territory and highlighted disagreements over Europe and the left-wing indoctrination hotline.

Then on Monday, Otten said he was standing down as Forum treasurer, saying it was difficult to combine the position with his other party campaigns and forthcoming senate role.

On Wednesday, however, Baudet announced on Twitter that Otten was also stepping down as party worker in the lower house of parliament, where he has been active since 2017. The decision, Baudet said in the tweet, had been taken by the board.

Otten, however, told reporters he knew nothing about the decision, even though he is, and remains, a member of the party management.

The former banker, who co-founded Forum in 2015, told the Volkskrant that Baudet’s action had been ‘impulsive’.

‘It leaves me neither hot or cold,’ he is quoted as saying by the paper. ‘That is not the way I am. And we are still talking about the division of duties.’

Forum is set to be the big winner in next month’s European elections.

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