Wednesday, 1 June 2016 - 12:55
Labour chairman: PvdA blocked Turkish AK supporters from candidate list
The PvdA removed supporters of the Turkish AK party from local electoral lists in the 2014 municipal elections, party chairman Hans Spekman said in NRC on Wednesday. "The management was warned that members of the youth party of (Turkish president Recep Tayyip, ed) Erdogan are trying to get onto local listings", he said to the newspapers. "Then we signaled the departments: beware, those guys come with other intentions. They were removed from the list." Spekman would give no further information on what municipalities, which people and how many of them were involved. He did say that this warning was cause for the PvdA to introduce better candidate screening for next year's general elections. Candidates for this election must endorse "left-progressive values" like equality and acceptance of homosexuality. Parliamentary candidates also have to collect 100 signatures from within the PvdA, to show they have sufficient support within the party. "My premise: You're on the list because you can be a good representative of the people, not because you get a lot of votes", Spekman said to NRC. According to the newspaper, the PvdA leaders are extra alert to religious-conservative Turkish candidates after parliamentarians Tunahan Kuzu and Selcuk Ozturk left the party a year and a half ago and started their own party DENK - a party for new Dutch. PvdA councilors of Turkish origin told the newspaper that the party's current Turkish supporters are massively turning their back on the PvdA. Many are considering voting for DENK next year.