Frank Vanhecke leaves Vlaams Belang party executive

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Just one day after the new party executive of the extreme right wing Vlaams Belang was approved, chairman Frank Vanhecke resigned.

His resignation is a self-proclaimed "protest against the coup by the Antwerp town council".

During a meeting of the Vlaams Belang party council on Saturday a crisis within the party was supposedly avoided when a vision text was approved by chairman Bruno Valkeniers and the new party executive. But the resignation of the former VB chairman Frank Vanhecke from the executive indicates that the internal problems are far from over.

Frank Vanhecke was one of the dissident voices against the new party executive. As Euro MP for Vlaams Belang he automatically has a seat in the party executive. But just one day after the approval of the new executive Vanhecke has resigned.

He explains that his resignation is in protest at what he feels is a take-over of power by the Antwerp city council. Within Vlaams Belang it appears that not everyone is pleased with the attempts by Filip Dewinter and Gerolf Annemans to take control of the most important posts in the party.

"During the party council meeting on Saturday I called on people not to vote in favour of the tabled proposal for a new party executive. Through my resignation I am just being consistent," said Mr Vanhecke. He stresses that he remains a member of the party.

Vlaams Belang facade is showing cracks

Last week Marie-Rose Morel also resigned from the party executive. Morel and Filip Dewinter do not see eye to eye on many issues.

Ever since she joined Vlaams Belang (in 2004) the popular politician from Schoten (near Antwerp) clashed with Filip Dewinter and Gerolf Annemans.

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