Conner Rousseau returns to politics after resigning over racist remarks

Former Vooruit leader Conner Rousseau will appear on the ballot paper in East Flanders for the Flemish parliamentary elections. Melissa Depraetere, current leader of the socialist party, announced the news on Instagram on Wednesday.

"Conner has thought long and hard," Depraetere said. "He has decided to do what many people, both inside and outside the party, have asked him to do. He let me know yesterday that he wants to participate in the elections with great enthusiasm."

Rousseau resigned as leader of Vooruit in November after racist remarks he made to police during a night out were leaked. Although the majority of the party asked him to stay on as leader, he resigned from his political posts.

Depraetere does not believe that Rousseau's racist remarks will stand in his way. "These are statements from eight months ago for which he has apologised," she told Radio 1 on Wednesday. "He has taken responsibility and learnt from it. (...) Everyone deserves a second chance and it is up to the voters to decide."

"Everyone deserves a second chance and it is up to the voters to decide"

It remains to be seen whether the comments have had any effect on Rousseau's popularity. In the past year, he has consistently been one of Belgium's most popular politicians in opinion polls. Polls after his resignation showed a significant drop in votes for Vooruit.

If elected, Rousseau will return to the Flemish Parliament, which he left last December.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

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