Labour leaders plead for party unity after dismal election results
Several PvdA Ministers are calling for calm and unity following a crushing defeat in the parliamentary election on Wednesday. According to the labor leaders, a reckoning now fixes nothing, Het Parool reports.
The PvdA lost 29 seats in the election on Wednesday, dropping from 38 to 9 seats. This led to criticism from a number of PvdA members. Former parliamentarian Rob Oudkerk called for the party to be disbanded. And departing parliamentarian Jan Vos expressed fierce criticism on the party leadership, especially towards chairman Hans Spekman and leader Lodewijk Asscher.
"Our party chairman wants to go back to the 19th century, while we are living in the 21st century", Vos wrote in a letter in the Volkskrant. According to him, the massive loss of seats is because the PvdA "lived in the past, were to occupied with ourselves and forgot the voters." He thinks that Spekman must "face the consequences" and step down.
About PvdA leader Asscher, Vos wrote that he acted in the "regent of the previous century". Vos defines the culture of the PvdA as "administrative and bureaucratic". Nevertheless, he still voted for Asscher. "He started late, but has my support."
"We should not immediately start organizing a reckoning", Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said on Friday. "We need to stand together and see how we get out of this. It is then up to the members and chairman what they want to do with it."
The PvdA members are meeting in Utrecht on Saturday to discuss the state of the party after the huge loss on Wednesday.