Socialist party boss resigns after 8 years as leader
Emile Roemer is resigning as party chairman and leader of socialist party SP, he announced in a cafe in The Hague on Wednesday. He is also leaving the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, early in January, RTL Nieuws reports
"It's time someone else takes over the baton", Roemer said. "I do not want to be a politician who left too late. My part of the mission is over."
Roemer was a teacher in Boxmeer and Beuningen before entering politics. He first became a parliamentarian in 2006 and mostly worked on the infrastructure portfolio, according to NU.nl. In 2010 he succeeded Agnes Kant as SP leader.
He quickly drew attention by the uninhibited and relaxed way in which he debated with other politicians. During the campaign for the 2012 parliamentary election, the SP under Roemer's leadership stood incredibly high in the polls, even being the biggest party for a time. The campaign seemed to be a two way battle between Roemer and VVD leader Mark Rutte and the SP was already dreaming about Roemer as Prime Minister, according to RTL.
But the results were disappointing. As were the results in the following election. The SP lost parliamentary seats three elections in a row under Roemer. Under the leadership of party figurehead Jan Marijnissen, the SP still had 25 parliamentary seats, according to NOS. The party now stands at 14.
During this year's election, the SP sidelined itself by refusing to work with the VVD. As a result, the party played no role in the government formation.
Lillian Marijnissen, the 32-year-old daughter of Jan Marijnissen, will take over from Roemer, according to NOS. She has only been in the Tweede Kamer since March.