Thierry Baudet has won the vote to stay on as leader of the far-right Forum voor Democratie, despite allegations of anti-Semitism and flirting with conspiracy theories.
In total, 76% of the 37,000 FvD members who voted said that Baudet should continue as leader. The result means Baudet can now put together a new board and draw up a list of potential candidates for the 2021 general election.
Baudet resigned as leader over a week ago as the party collapsed following revelations about racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia within its youth wing. Most of the parliamentary candidates withdrew and several prominent party members also left the organisation.
A slew of new resignations are now likely, including that of the three FvD MEPs and nine of the party’s provincial councillors in Zuid-Holland. They had all said they would quit as members if Baudet won the popular vote.
In 2019, FvD emerged as the biggest party in the country after the provincial elections but since then its fortunes have collapsed. According to the most recent polls, the party will win no more than five seats in the March general election.
Issues came to a head at the end of last month when senator Nicki Pouw-Verweij, wrote an account of a dinner on involving seven prospective MPs, in which Baudet expressed his support for conspiracy theories and said nearly everyone he knew was an anti-semite.
According to Pouw-Verweij’s letter, Baudet said that coronavirus had been introduced by George Soros to ‘steal our freedom’ and coronavirus would complete what ‘Hilary Clinton and the paedophiles failed to do’.
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