Lodewijk Asscher to keep leading Labor party: reports

Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

Lodewijk Asscher will be the leader of the PvdA in the next elections. Anyone who wanted to run against him for party leadership had until last week Friday to register, but nobody did, sources reported to RTL Nieuws. The party board still has to ratify the party leadership, but with Asscher as only candidate, this is just a formality.

Before the previous parliamentary elections in 2017, former PvdA leader Diederik Samsom had to cede leadership of the Labor party to Asscher. The PvdA subsequently suffered the biggest loss in party history in the election, as voters punished the party for being part of a government that implemented significant budget cuts. The Rutte II government consisted of VVD and PvdA and ruled as the Netherlands recovered from the economic crisis. 

Since the 2017 elections, the PvdA led by Asscher has slowly recovered, with polls showing more and more support for the party. Earlier this year, Asscher announced his intention to lead the PvdA through the parliamentary elections next year. "We are going to win these elections," he said at a PvdA conference, according to RTL.

According to RTL political reporter Roel Schreinemachers, the PvdA is relieved that it does not have to go through another leadership election. "The hard way in which Asscher competed for the party leadership was seen as a knife in the back of Samsom," he said, adding that it further damaged the image of a party already in trouble. "Now the PvdA can skip that step and immediately focus on a good election result with Asscher as the undisputed leader."