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Thierry Baudet has been appointed party leader by the FVD members.

In the past 24 hours in which they could vote digitally, 76 percent of the votes cast went to Baudet.

He will now have control over the installation of a new party board and a new candidate list for the parliamentary elections in March 2021.

FVD members could answer yes or no to the question: "Do you want Thierry Baudet to remain party leader of Forum for Democracy?"

As the winner, Baudet may, together with Olaf Ephraim - who, unlike the other board members, has continued to support Baudet - form a new board and draw up a new candidate list for the House of Representatives elections.

Had Baudet lost, he would have had to withdraw and a new board would have come up with a new list.

Referendum for outcome already controversial

The referendum was controversial.

First of all because according to FVD it was possible to vote anonymously, but

NOS

and

RTL Nieuws

showed that this was not the case.

According to

RTL News

journalist Daniël Verlaan, the system "keeps track of exactly who you are and what you vote".

FVD claimed in a response that votes are stored anonymously and cannot be traced back to an individual.

There was also criticism of the shape.

A binding referendum is not an official instrument of the party.

A further explanation therefore referred to "an informal consultation of members", in which board members Rob Rooken, Lennart van der Linden, Baudet and Ephraim "discussed and recorded the consequences with each other in advance".

Former FVD party leader in Overijssel Johan Almekinders criticized the state of affairs surrounding the referendum and Baudet's party leadership.

He took the board to court, because according to him there is maladministration.

Almekinders was told after his criticism that he would be expelled from the party.

Unprecedented chaos within FVD due to racism and anti-Semitism

The members' consultation followed two weeks of unprecedented chaos within the party and an exodus of prominent FVD'ers.

This chaos arose after the youth branch JFVD was discredited after reporting by

Het Parool

because of Nazi, anti-Semitic and homophobic statements in app groups.

The JFVD members were not tackled, a few were even promoted within the party.

Party members who expressed concerns were expelled from the party.

The resigned FVD members were concerned that Baudet did not distance himself from the course of events.

He continued to support candidate member of parliament and JFVD chairman Freek Jansen.

Jansen himself is also not of impeccable behavior.

In the book

My opinions are facts,

journalists Mischa Cohen and Harm Ede Botje write that Jansen has arranged an appointment with the extreme right-wing Jared Taylor and Fausto Lanser, the founder of the extreme right-wing and racist society Erkenbrand.

Incidents seem to form a pattern

The unrest fits in with the pattern of recent years in which Baudet has regularly been discredited for racist and anti-Semitic statements.

For example, Baudet would have said two weeks ago during a dinner with candidate MPs that FVD members who put the Holocaust into perspective in the app group are not stupid, but have "a very high IQ".

"That's why they say these things."

FVD surprisingly came in 2017 with two seats in the House of Representatives.

The party even won the Provincial Council elections in March 2019 and became the largest party in the Senate with twelve seats in one fell swoop.

Since then it has been going downhill for the party.

Internal quarrels have resulted in senators breaking off or resigning.

FVD now has four seats left in the Senate.