MP Omtzigt reviled as "psychopath", "unstable" by CDA members, he says
In a leaked, confidential document, recently belittled CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt accused his own party of passing him over for party leader, reviling him as a psychopath and unstable person, working against other party members that support him, and leaving him feeling unsafe. In the 76-page document, Omtzigt said that the recent problems at the CDA are "not incidents but symptoms of much larger structural problems at the CDA," NOS reports.
The document in question is a memo written by Omtzigt for the Spies committee, which is investigating last year's CDA party leader election. The document leaked to newspaper De Limburger.
One of the things Omtzigt addressed in his memo, was the childcare allowance scandal. He called it the "most explosive process" which left him feeling "not always appreciated and at a number of moments even downright unsafe". After he spoke about the scandal on television program Op1, for example, he was reviled by other party members in WhatsApp conversations. Excerpts from WhatsApp messages Omtzigt included in his memo show other CDA members calling Omtzigt a psychopath, sick man, jerk, disturbed, unstable. He was described as impossible to work with, someone who urgently needs help.
Omtzigt said he experienced little support when demonstrating abuses at the Tax Authority. "[The Ministers] are obsessed with the image and speak with much less involvement about the parents, who are in huge trouble because of government action," Omtzigt wrote. The pressure he experienced, inhibited Omtzigt in his work. "At a certain point, I was afraid of phone calls if I had asked parliamentary questions about the matter, but it simply had to be done."
According to Omtzigt, the CDA passed him over as party leader. In the CDA party leader elections, Omtzigt came a close second to Hugo de Jonge. But when De Jonge stepped aside, the position of party leader went to Wopke Hoekstra. Even though then party chairman Rutger Ploum promised it would be Omtzigt, he said. "There is clearly a preconceived plan and I don't fit into it."
Omtzigt said that people who voted for him in the party leader election, were faced with opposition from the rest of the party. According to him, at least three candidates on the CDA election list ended up lower on the list than they expected after revealing that they had voted for Omtzigt.
The CDA parliamentarian also raised concerns about the CDA's financing, saying he was worried about the power of three major sponsors, who together account for nearly a million euros of the party's campaign budget. "Those sponsors and someone on the campaign team have an interest in trying to make changes to the CDA plans as detailed in Wokpke's New Deal and the election manifesto. I have trouble with that. And it makes the CDA vulnerable."
"Major donors must be registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs, but I did not see these sponsors in the overview submitted before the elections. If they donated shortly before the elections, they can be put in the overview that will be made public next year," Omtzigt said.
In a first reaction to NOS, CDA chairman Marnix van Rij said that he "categorically" rejects that wealthy sponsors had an influence on the CDA program. He also said he "forcefully distances himself from the CDA-unworthy" statements Omtzigt said were made about him.