Far-right Flemish party campaigns under guise of animal rights party
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Far-right Flemish party campaigns under guise of animal rights party

© Vlaams Belang
© Vlaams Belang

The far-right Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang party is running a social media campaign as ‘Party for the Animals – Flanders’.  In short time, the ‘Party for the Animals – Flanders’ Facebook page has attracted an enormous number of followers, but only recently did it become clear that Vlaams Belang was behind the campaign, and also paid the party for a post on Facebook.

On the Party for the Animals Facebook page, Vlaams Belang and the Party for the Animals joined forces. The latter party said it did not have enough resources to participate in the elections and chairman Jan Van Puyvelde called for a vote on Vlaams Belang.

However, Vlaams Belang itself sponsored The Party for the Animals – Flanders’ call to vote for the rightwing party, verified Bruzz’ editors.

Related News: Flemish political parties spend big on Facebook

The choice to spread Van Puyvelde’s call made sense for Vlaams Belang, their spokesperson Klaas Stootmans told Bruzz. After all, Vlaams Belang has been committed to animal welfare for years. “Since the 1980s, we have been fighting un-anaesthetised slaughter,” he said to Bruzz. “We have also shown a lot of parliamentary initiatives around breeding mills, mink farms and the financing of animal shelters,” he added.

The ‘Party for the Animals – Flanders’ page is by no means related to the DierAnimal party, emphasized the founder of the latter party, Constance Adonis Villalon. “We were founded more than a year ago and are the sister party of the Dutch Party for the Animals,” she said to Bruzz.

“‘Party for the Animals Flanders’ consists of one person, Jan Van Puyvelde. He founded his party in 2004 in Antwerp. In 2010 he also wanted to participate in the elections, but that did not work, after which nobody heard about it until that page was set up in December, but which was not active until March. He probably also bought likes because in one week the page had at least 3,000 to 4,000 followers,” she added.

Translation: “Party for the Animals (Flanders) calls: ‘Vote Vlaams Belang'”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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