Several CDA departments want an official mediation mission with the resigned MP Pieter Omtzigt. In a resolution for next week’s party congress, they call for “repair of relations and reconciliation.” The party board has yet to consider this proposal.
Omtzigt’s departure and his rock-hard memo shook the CDA to its foundations in June. The vote cannon left the party after the piece was leaked. He will return next month as an independent parliamentarian in the House of Representatives. Many CDA members regret his departure and want an ultimate attempt at reconciliation.
At next Saturday’s party congress, members are to vote on a resolution calling for re-establishment of ties with Omtzigt. This plan is submitted by CDA Midvoor (an internal theme group ‘for the reasonable middle class’) and is supported by two provincial departments, those of Zeeland and South Holland.
“This is about restoring relationships and reconciliation, not directly about reunification,” says Peter Heijkoop, chairman of the CDA Zuid-Holland and alderman in Dordrecht. “We are not going to say as members ‘you will and must get together again’. But I hope that we can work well together in terms of content if Pieter picks up his Chamber work. Then you hope that that cooperation goes well, that the relationship recovers. And who knows where that will end. In my heart I say: Pieter is a real Christian Democrat, I hope that he and the CDA will meet again. But that’s for later.”
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In the same resolution, the departments also ask for a broader investigation into party departures. Heijkoop: ,,Since the government of tolerance with the PVV, many members have left. There are various analyzes about this, but it is good to really investigate why people have left the party. Then you can also work on improvement.”
The CDA party board is still considering the assessment of the reconciliation resolution. It is unclear whether Omtzigt himself is willing to participate in a ‘peace mission’. He is now resting.
The CDA congress in the Brabanthallen next week should draw a line under the ‘disaster year’ that the party is experiencing. After a chaotic run-up – with the messy leadership change and Omtzigt coming home sick – the party lost four seats in the March elections. After the critical report of the Spies evaluation committee, the party board resigned. The party leadership hopes that peace will now return.
Heijkoop: ,,The conference is really turning into a tipping point. We need to get more color on our cheeks again and we have next year’s council elections.”
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