ANPStephan van Baarle succeeds party leader Farid Azarkan at the opposition party Denk
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 15:52
The new party leader Stephan van Baarle wants to continue with Denk’s current course. In his first speech at a party conference today, he made it clear that combating discrimination and racism remains the most important commitment of the opposition party, which now has three seats in the House of Representatives. “We must stand up against hatred and discrimination and continue to set the tone.”
Both former party leader Azarkan and co-founder of the party Kuzu are leaving politics in The Hague after the elections in November. “We are building on the work of these two political giants,” said 32-year-old Van Baarle.
Piece of cheese
Van Baarle has been involved with Denk since its founding in 2015. He was chairman of the program committee, policy officer in the House of Representatives and served on the Rotterdam city council for four years. Van Baarle grew up as the grandson of a Turkish bean farmer and with a single Dutch mother. “I grew up with two countries and two religions. I cherish the warm Turkish culture and you can wake me up for a piece of white cheese.”
The new party leader calls the multicultural society an enrichment and believes that people should stop “putting each other in boxes”. In recent years, Denk has campaigned against discrimination in the labor market with so-called mystery guests and has advocated reparations for descendants of slavery.
Van Baarle is very critical of the new VVD course, which no longer rules out cooperation with the PVV. “The VVD opens the door to Wilders’ hatred of Muslims. In this way, 1 million Muslims are thrown under the bus and the rights of Muslims are sold away.”