Pieter Omtzigt at breaking point with CDA
Pieter Omtzigt is ready to leave the CDA, according to EW who received information from party insiders. The Member of Parliament played a decisive role in exposing the benefits scandal in January. Published Cabinet meeting minutes showed that ministers tried to suppress MPs who asked critical questions.
The current Minister of Social Affairs, Wouter Koolmees, for example, called Omtzigt’s criticism “not very helpful”.
Released documents also showed that the infrastructure minister, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, said it was "in no way acceptable for [parliamentarians from] the coalition parties to take a tougher standpoint than the opposition".
For months tension has been building up between Omtzigt and the leaders in the CDA, although some want the popular MP to stay. CDA party leader, Wopke Hoekstra and interim chairman Marnix van Rij want to keep Omtzigt on board. Omtzigt alone accounted with 342,472 votes in the election for the Tweede Kamer which would be enough for five seats in Parliament.
Hoekstra and Van Rij are said to have offered him a position once the new Cabinet has been formed. Should Omtzigt prefer to remain an MP he can choose the policies he wants to work on.
If Omtzigt were to leave within the coming days, there is a risk he would break off from the CDA. This could delay the formation of a new Cabinet further, given that the CDA is indispensable to creating a new coalition.