NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 04:16
Gert-Jan Segers leaves politics. He is stepping down as a Member of Parliament and party leader of the ChristenUnie. In a letter to members of his party, he writes that after ten years “it has been good”. Segers will be succeeded by Mirjam Bikker, now vice party chairman.
In his farewell letter to the members of the party, Segers (53) writes that they were good years, but also that it is a “super tough job that demands a lot from your family and environment”. He calls politics in The Hague a “greedy profession”, which is often also personal. “I gave in it, by trial and error, what I had to give.”
Segers also calls it “beneficial to make room for someone else after a certain number of years. Leadership also includes the understanding that that role is temporary. We are all replaceable scribblers and God’s work is always teamwork”.
Mirjam Bikker is the only candidate to succeed Segers and she is expected to be elected by her party next Tuesday. Segers had already envisioned her as a successor, according to his letter. In the previous elections, he stood as a candidate in “the knowledge that there would be a capable and driven successor”. According to Segers, “that brave woman is now there”.
Involved in negotiations
In his ten years in the House of Representatives, Segers was party chairman and political leader for more than seven years. He succeeded Arie Slob in 2015. Segers was twice involved with Carola Schouten in the negotiations about a new cabinet.
The second time, in 2021, he nevertheless joined after he had expressed harsh criticism of VVD leader Rutte in a newspaper earlier that year. After the events with Omtzigt, he could no longer be a credible bearer of a new political culture. Segers later partly backed off his criticism of Rutte and nevertheless joined the negotiations for a new cabinet.
Fight against human trafficking and forced prostitution
As a Member of Parliament, Segers committed herself to the fight against human trafficking and forced prostitution. Together with PvdA, SP and CDA, he drafted an initiative law on the criminalization of people who abuse a victim of human trafficking. The law was passed in the House of Representatives in 2016.
In his letter to the members, Segers recalls the cooperation with other parties in order to achieve something despite the differences.
About the cooperation with the four coalition parties, he writes that the one time “the biggest quarrels” were fought and the other time after nightly meetings they joined forces.
“Especially the moments when we really succeeded in making big decisions and the moments when we shared something of our deepest motivations were special,” Segers writes. He says he has always entered into the talks “with the conviction that the well-being of our country stands or falls with our ability – despite all our differences – to work together.”
Segers says he hopes to have his last day as a Member of Parliament on Tuesday, January 24. He says he has no idea what he will do next.
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