Leiden academic Paul Cliteur has told the Telegraaf he is ‘not available’ to lead the nationalist party Forum voor Democratie when it enters the senate later this month.
Cliteur, who is second on the party’s list of prospective senators had been considered the natural choice to succeed Henk Otten, who has was forced to step down from the role following allegations of financial impropriety.
The senate will be elected by the 570 members of the 12 provincial councils on May 27 and Forum emerged as the big winner in the March provincial vote. This means the party is likely to be the biggest in the 75 seat upper chamber with 13 members.
Cliteur told the Telegraaf he considered himself to be ‘an ideal second man, not as senate leader’. It is unclear now who will take the leadership role.
Cliteur, a law professor at Leiden, also told the paper that as an academic he should ‘not have too much of a pronounced political profile’.
He is known for his conservative views and has previously supported both the right-wing liberal VVD and the pro animal Partij voor de Dieren.
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