Henk Otten, former senator at Forum for Democracy (FvD) who was disbanded as a party member three weeks ago, is setting up a new party and will certainly bring two FvD senators along, reports De Telegraaf on Monday.
According to the newspaper, Jeroen de Vries and Dorien Rookmaker would join Otten. Rookmaker and De Vries were previously committed to attempting to restore the relationship between Thierry Baudet and Otten.
Baudet says in De Telegraaf that he does not know about the resignation of party members. "As far as I know, no one has switched. But if people want to set up a new party, they must do so," says the party leader.
De Telegraaf reports that a founding meeting has taken place on a hotel terrace in Zwolle. Otten says to the newspaper: "There are more people in the senate and in the States groups who want to switch. We are forging a close-knit club."
Otten expelled on suspicion of fraud
Forum for Democracy announced in July that Otten was being kicked out of the party. He is suspected by the party of fraud based on an internal investigation into the party administration in 2018.
An internal investigation was initiated following the financial statements for 2018. When drafting this, irregularities emerged, such as a lack of accountability for how the proceeds from the sale of books and FvD promotional material from party members and other sympathizers were spent.
According to the internal investigation, Otten used party funds for an "unauthorized payment" to a relationship on the basis of a false invoice. He has repaid that amount. It would also have appeared that he was conspiring with the author of that invoice. That was enough reason for Forum to expel him as a party member, the party wrote.