Member of Parliament Wybren van Haga officially joins the Forum for Democracy group, reports FVD foreman Thierry Baudet on Twitter. After Van Haga was expelled from the group of the VVD in September last year, he started working more and more with FVD. Although he has been a member of the party for some time and is high on the Forum list for the forthcoming elections, he has remained in the Chamber on his own title. However, he often spoke on behalf of the FVD Group.
So he has now become a member of that group. After the VVD Van Haga showed the door, Baudet said that a “seat rover” was not welcome at FVD. “We should not have anything from seat robbers,” Baudet said. There, “were not marching in one way or another.”
FVD has two seats in the House of Representatives. Last week Baudets right-hand man, Theo Hiddema, suddenly stepped up in the middle of a fierce conflict at the top of the party. Many prominent people are now away from FVD, but the conflict is still festering, also because of a quarrel in the board.
The seat that is freed by Hiddemas departure goes in principle to Senator Henk Otten, who already split off from Forum earlier last year. Otten is not sure yet whether he will trade in his senate seat for a spot in the House of Representatives. Therefore, it is still unknown whether the FVD group will have two or three seats.
The senators who have split off from Forum for Democracy in the First Chamber continue as the Van Pareren Group. Forum has four seats left. It is still unclear who will succeed FVD Senator Paul Cliteur.
The new group consists of Bob van Pareren, Toine Beukering, Otto Hermans, Hugo Berkhout and Nicki Pouw-Verweij. Berkhout temporarily replaces Annabel Nanninga who is on maternity leave. She left FVD, too. They left Forum because, according to them, Thierry Baudet did not leave enough distance from racism and anti-Semitism.
It is not the first division of FVD in this parliamentary term of the Senate. Last July Henk Otten and Jeroen de Vries split off. Shortly thereafter, Dorien Rookmaker joined the Group Otten. Meanwhile, Rookmaker is in the European Parliament for Group Otten.
The Forum Group now has four members, reports to the House on Monday. They are Paul Frentrop, Lennart van der Linden, Johan Dessing and Loek van Wely.