The Tweede Kamer voted to suspend Forum voor Democratie party leader Thierry Baudet. The faction leader and MP will not be allowed to participate in parliamentary debates for one week. The sanction was proposed by the lower parliamentary house’s integrity committee, because Baudet did not disclose additional jobs that he had during his time in parliament. These are required to be stated in a specific registry.
In a roll call vote, 119 MPs voted in favor of the proposal to suspend Baudet. Two voted against. The parliamentarians from Forum voor Democratie (FvD) and another far-right party, PVV, walked out of the hall during the vote.
Baudet did not reveal that he is a board member of FvD, and that he is the director of the publishing company, THPB Media bv. Both positions involve commercial activities. Last week, the Tweede Kamer’s Integrity Investigation Board recommended that Baudet be suspended. He has also been reprimanded in the past for non-compliance.
The FvD leader responded, saying that the rules are used to silence MPs. It’s a “matter of principle,” he said of the matter.
Prior to the vote, PVV leader Geert Wilders called the decision a “historic mistake.” Caroline van der Plas (BBB) voted against suspending Baudet because she finds the measure to be “undemocratic.”
The suspension was suggested as Baudet also has not given up his other positions. Two other FvD MPs, Freek Jansen and Gideon van Meijeren, have now also been reprimanded. They also need to better register their ancillary positions and income.
A Member of Parliament has not been suspended before, partly because the Tweede Kamer has only recently become aware of this tool available to it. Baudet was recently excluded from a debate in the Tweede Kamer because he insinuated that Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag was a spy. The entire Cabinet, which was in the Tweede Kamer for the debate about next year’s budget, then stood up and left the room in protest. Baudet later refused to take back his words, after which Tweede Kamer chair Vera Bergkamp blocked him from further participating in that debate.
Earlier this week, the FvD leader was again discredited by making statements that many MPs thought were over the line, but this suspension is separate from that. Baudet said in an interview that he is a supporter of conspiracy theories. He said he believes the world is run behind closed doors by a group of conspiring “reptiles,” though he said the latter was a metaphor.