Gwendolyn Rutten not to be a candidate for another term as leader of the Flemish liberals

The current leader of the Flemish Liberal Party Open VLD won’t be standing in the party’s forthcoming leadership election. The deadline for candidates for the party leadership was 10am on Monday. The dentist’s daughter from Aarschot (Flemish Brabant) has led the Flemish liberals since 2012 when she succeeded Alexander De Croo. She was re-elected leader in 2016. However, now Ms Rutten, who is also Mayor of Aarschot, won’t be seeking a third term as party leader.   Gwendolyn Rutten shared a farewell video recorded in her office at party HQ in Brussels on the social media site Facebook. In the video she said “Staying sat on the same chair twice is long enough. It is time to pass on the baton”.  

 

In the video she said “Staying sat on the same chair twice is long enough. It is time to pass on the baton”.  Ms Rutten added that she is looking forward to becoming a simple party activist again.     

Meanwhile, the battle to succeed her is hotting up. Four candidates are standing for the party leadership. They are the Mayor of Ostend (West Flanders) and former Minister Bart Tommelein, the member of the Flemish Parliament and former Brussels City Alderman Els Ampe, the Federal MP and Merelbeke (East Flanders) Alderman Egbert Lachaert and Stefaan Nuytten from Koksijde in West Flanders. Which of them will become leader will be known before the end of next month.    

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