Dutch Animal Rights Party Members Right an Authoritarian Wrong
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


April 2010

[Ed. Note: For more information, visit Party for the Animals - "We are a Dutch political party whose highest priority is animal welfare and the respectful treatment of animals. In the Netherlands, we are represented in the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Provincial States."]

Amsterdam-based evening daily Het Parool reports that Animal Rights Party MP Esther Ouwehand will be standing for election after all. She had been mysteriously crossed off the party’s list of candidates, but has now been reinstated on the insistence of the party’s members.

But why she was missed off the list in the first place remains a mystery – party leader Marianne Thieme hasn’t commented, and the party congress is held strictly in private. But it’s no secret that Ms Ouwehand has clashed with the party leader over the party’s culture of secrecy and lack of democracy.

“The party that stands up for the rights of animals has a somewhat authoritarian leadership,” de Volkskrant comments. Marianne Thieme is not only party leader but also party chairperson. And she rules the party along with her right-hand man Niko Koffeman, both of whom are members of the Seventh Day Adventist church, the paper points out. Esther Ouwehand was apparently insisting on democratisation, which in the Animal Rights Party, de Volkskrant observes, “is tantamount to political suicide”.

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