Lilian Janse Wins SGP Lijsttrekker Elections

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Lilian Janse has won the elections for lijsttrekker candidates at the SGP in the municipality of Vlissingen in Zeeland. She is the first woman elected within the SGP. This was reported after the election by Cees de Landmeter, president of the constituency of the SGP in Vlissingen.

De Landmeter acknowledged that her candidacy has caused headaches, but it looks good with Janse as lijsttrekker. "The SGP may, with Lilian Janse as lijsttrekker, get more votes than a male candidate." Also de Landmeter said that the SGP in Vlissingen now has clarity on how to proceed. "We want to do this in peace and we want to refrain upfront from any comment."

A lijsttrekker is the Dutch term for the top candidate of a party on a party list. In case of a local election, the lijsttrekker is usually before, and for sure after, the elections,  the local political leader.

Procedures for women

From the establishment of the SGP in 1918, it was impossible for women to be eligible for election for the party. After years of procedures, the Supreme Court decided in 2010 that the SGP could no longer exclude women from its electoral lists.

In early 2013 the party finally accepted with the ruling of the Supreme Court and it was decided that female members can apply to be elected. Article 10 of the manifesto, however, remained which states that women's suffrage "is contrary to the vocation of women." The department in Vlissingen now breaks with that party principle.

Manifesto

The appointment of Janse is not consistent with the text of the manifesto of the party, said party chairman Maarten van Leeuwen on Monday in a first reaction.

He points out that the decision on Janse, is primarily the responsibility of the local members in Vlissingen. But van Leeuwen also says that the national board is committed to achieve substantive support for the manifesto. “Indeed, we cherish the inner conviction of our members.”

The SGP-chairman calls the situation in Vlissingen 'exceptional'. The decision of the SGP in Vlisingen moves according to party chairman van Leeuwen between two poles: the manifesto and the regulations. “Formally designating Janse as lijsttrekker is in accordance with the Rules,” he adds.

Lilian Janse for lijsttrekker

The SGP electoral association in Vlissingen accepted on Tuesday, in a closed meeting, the candidacy of Lilian Janse for the position of lijsttrekker for the municipal elections in 2014. Janse (40) is the first woman within the SGP ever, to become eligible for election.

After the election, chairman Cees de Landmeter of the constituency of the SGP in Vlissingen,  announced that 23 members voted in favor and 14 against.

Lilian Janse was the only candidate for the position as lijsttrekker for the SGP in the municipality of Vlissingen for the elections of March 2014. Earlier, the SGP in Vlissingen asked six men if they wanted to become the lijsttrekker, but they all declined.

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