Thierry Baudet, the leader of a far-right political party in the Netherlands, was assaulted during a campaign event two days before a national election on Wednesday (22 November), his party said.
In a statement, Baudet’s Forum for Democracy (FvD) said he had been struck in the back of the head with a beer bottle and struck on his temple. Images of the incident, which took place in a bar, are circulating on social media, along with images of police arresting a suspect outside. The motive was not known.
BREAKING: A national conservative Dutch politician Thierry Baudet, party leader of Forum for Democracy, has been attacked by bottle on the head two days ahead of Netherlands election
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 20, 2023
Baudet was taken to a hospital in Groningen for treatment for what his party said appeared to be minor injuries but he was forced to cancel an appearance later on Monday.
The assault drew condemnation as “totally unacceptable” from outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is not a candidate in the 22 November election.
Baudet’s FvD Party is known as Euro-sceptic, Dutch nationalist and anti-immigration. It is forecast to win four or five seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament.
A new opinion poll by I&O research quoted by dutchnews.nl shows a sharp drop in support for Pieter Omtzigt’s new party NSC (New Social Contract, EPP-affiliated) and a clear lead for the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, ALDE-sffiliated), which is the biggest party in the current government.
The poll puts NSC on 25 seats in the 150-seat parliament, down four on last week. The VVD added one seat in the I&O poll and is now on 27. The left-wing GroenLinks/PvdA alliance is on 23, down one on last week’s poll.
The poll also shows a slight increase in support for Geert Wilder’s far-right PVV, whose tally is up by two seats to 20. No other party is tipped to win more than 10 seats.
(Edited by Georgi Gotev)