While sitting at home overworked, CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt is once again in the spotlight. Omtzigt gave a damning verdict on his party in a memorandum to the committee investigating the causes of the election defeat. The 76-page document, which was leaked on Thursday evening, contains strong political and personal criticism of the culture within the CDA. An overview of Omtzigt’s main objections:
- CDA MP Omtzigt put the childcare allowance affair on the map within his party and parliament. But in the CDA some group employees see him earlier as a nuisance than valued Member of Parliament. Revealed WhatsApp messages show that CDA members have called Omtzigt, among other things, “psychopath” and “terrible dog”. In the memorandum, the MP states that he feels “not always appreciated” “and at a number of moments even downright unsafe”.
- At the revealing the benefits affair At times Omtzigt had the idea that he was being opposed by his party. The MP is extremely critical of the role of the cabinet. “The ministers are obsessed with the image and speak with much less involvement about the parents, who are in enormous trouble because of government actions.” Omtzigt also refers to his own party leader, Wopke Hoekstra, the Minister of Finance.
- Omtzigt also directs his visor on Hoekstra in the note. As an example, he mentions the lack of debate about the minimum wage, which the party initially wanted to raise, according to Omtzigt. He was for that, but Hoekstra was not. In the end, the latter would have decided that there would be no increase in the program. Omtzigt experienced this as a ‘dictation’. According to the MP, the example illustrates the culture within the party, where there is a ‘lack of substantive debate’. This puts the CDA in “serious danger”.
- If Hugo de Jonge gives up the party leadership because he declares that the combination with his ministerial duties is too heavy, Omtzigt expects that he will becomes a new leader. After all, he narrowly lost the internal elections to De Jonge. Rutger Ploum would have promised Omtzigt that he would succeed De Jonge if he steps aside. Nevertheless, the party board wants to put Hoekstra forward as the new leader. He hesitates at first, but agrees. “Despite Rutger’s promise, I have been disingenuously passed over as party leader,” Omtzigt writes.
- The Member of Parliament also suggests that three lenders, who together spent almost 1 million in the campaign, were able to influence the party program through their donation. Omtzigt had “great difficulty” with this, partly because the sponsors were not reported to the Ministry of the Interior. He also states that the donors had “an interest” in the changes to the program. On Friday morning, Interim chairman Marnix van Rij responded negatively to these points NPO Radio 1. “I don’t recognize that,” said Van Rij. In addition, according to Van Rij, the party has “respected” all the rules of party sponsorship. The Christian Democrats will account for themselves in the 2021 annual accounts.
- Omtzigt calls Rutte III cabinet a “chord factory” that makes many important policy decisions at informal, non-constitutional meetings. For example, the MP denounces the coalition consultation on Monday and the Catshuis deliberation on Sunday. The way in which the government wanted to compensate the victims in the Allowance Affair cannot count on his approval either, because the scheme “is not accountable to taxpayers”. It hurt Omtzigt “quite a lot” that he was never invited for consultations with ministers.
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