Former member Henk Otten says no to FvD seat in parliament

The Netherlands has never had a female prime minister. Photo:

Henk Otten, the former Forum voor Democratie senator thrown out of the party for alleged financial impropriety, has decided not to take the vacant FvD seat in the lower house of parliament, even though he is entitled to do so.

The far right party has two seats in parliament but one MP, Theo Hiddema, resigned in the wake of the row over anti-Semitism. The next few candidate MPs on the list have also said they will not take Hiddema’s place, clearing the way for former member Otten to do so.

Otten told reporters that he has no desire to leave the senate for the lower house so close to the general election, which takes place on March 17.

However, by taking the maximum length of time to decide, Otten said he had prevented anyone else from being eligible for parliamentary unemployment benefits if they are not elected in 2021.

MPs are not entitled to the wachtgeld benefit if they have been serving for less than three months.

Otten also said his new party GO had not yet decided whether or not to contest the general election because of the large number of splinter parties on the right. Besides FvD, former FvD members have set up JA21, while The Hague city councillor Richard de Mos has launched Code Oranje.

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