D66 election campaign focuses on integration and "equal chances"

D66-leader Alexander Pechtold

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold wants the next government to address inequality in society, he wrote in the foreword of his party's 232 page election program, which he presented on Friday. According to him, it is time to invest in "equal chances", NU.nl reports.

"400,000 children are raised in poverty. Many elderly deserve better nursing homes. 2.5 million Dutch people have literacy problems. Two million people are involuntarily without a permanent job", he wrote. "That inequality is unacceptable, especially when it stems from unequal chances. This division is disastrous. Everyone needs a chance to make something of his or her life."

Pechtold referred to asylum seekers and refugees who struggle to integrate into the Dutch society. He wants to offer them the opportunity to learn Dutch and find a job from day one. "And so we work on equal chances and prevent an integration disaster."

The D66 also wants to open "comprehensive neighborhood schools", that teach kids from as young as 2 years old, to prevent any child starting mainstream education with a disadvantage. The party wants to invest in education, research, innovation, culture, law, international cooperation and defense.

This election program is still in a concept stage and party members can still make changes. The D66 is the third party to present its election campaign program. 50Plus did so earlier this week and the PVV did so on Thursday.

On Thursday Pechtold announced that he would leave the D66 if the party does not form part of the next cabinet after the elections on March 15th next year.