Conner Rousseau resigns as member of Flemish Parliament
The former leader of Flemish socialists Vooruit, Conner Rousseau, has submitted his resignation as a member of the Flemish Parliament with immediate effect. He informed parliament president Liesbeth Homans this by email, he wrote on Instagram.
Three weeks ago, Rousseau resigned as leader of Vooruit. following controversy over racist and sexist "drunken remarks" he made in a café in his home town of Sint-Niklaas in September. "There was too much noise and commotion around me," he said.
For those comments, which his party considered racist towards the Roma community, Rousseau was ordered by the public prosecutor's office to undergo a series of measures, including a visit to the Kazerne Dossin Holocaust memorial and therapy sessions to understand the impact of his words.
"My current personal situation does not allow me to have enough influence in the coming weeks"
Melissa Depraetere has since succeeded Rousseau as party leader. After stepping down as leader, Rousseau continued to serve in the Flemish Parliament, but he has now decided to resign. "My current personal situation does not allow me to have enough influence in the coming weeks," he wrote to Homans.
"And I want to be honest with people. I will be working on myself in the coming period. I want to come out stronger as a person. But I don't want to do it at the expense of the parliament. That wouldn't feel right. Hence this decision."
In his Instagram message, he said: "I want to apologise once again. For the terrible mistake I made. And also to those I've disappointed. I am particularly angry with myself."
He didn't mention whether he intends to run in the 2024 elections. Before he stepped down as leader in November, Vooruit announced that Rousseau would lead the East Flanders list for the Flemish parliament.
Rousseau urged Vooruit supporters to "take a stand". "It's time to focus on people's real problems. And I hope my departure can contribute to that."
#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE