Political parties 50Plus and Denk hit by internal disputes and power struggles

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

Dutch fringe political parties 50Plus and Denk are both embroiled in internal disputes about the way the parties are being run.

Pensioners party 50Plus, which has four MPs in the 150 seat lower house of parliament, is being torn apart by a disagreement with its chairman Geert Dales.

Three of the four MPs on Tuesday issued a press release saying they had no confidence in Dales, describing him as autocratic, and calling him to quit.

But the move was not supported by party leader Henk Krol, who has also suggested Dales become an MP after the March 2021 general election.

The three MPs have now reportedly agreed to rally behind Krol, and say it is up to members to decide ‘in a transparent’ way, what should happen.


Meanwhile Denk, formed by two Dutch Turkish Labour MPs after they were expelled from the PvdA, is also grappling with internal problems. Parliamentary party leader Farid Azarkan told a television talk show on Tuesday evening he fears the party will collapse unless changes are made. Denk has three MPs in parliament.

One of the two founders, Tunahan Kuzu, announced several weeks ago that he is leaving politics because of the impact on his family life. But it emerged later he had been having an affair.

Fellow founder Selcuk Ozturk is thought by some to have used this to pressure Kuzu to quit, leading Kuzu to accuse him of blackmail.

‘I think the party is in such trouble that its future is in doubt,’ Azarkan told the Jinek show. The only solution, he said, is for the board to resign. ‘Then we can improve the situation,’ he said. ‘Mr Ozturk has the key in his hand.’

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