CDA leader discussed fmr. MP's health with 350 party members, journalists
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra shared personal information about the health of former CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt in a Zoom call with 350 party members on Tuesday, ANP and Nederlands Dagblad - whose journalists were also on the call - reported.
Hoekstra spoke to the party members about Omtzigt's departure from the CDA and the future of the party. Omtzigt left the CDA after a memo he wrote - in which he criticized his party and accused members of harassing him and the party of sidelining him - leaked to the press.
Various comments were made about Omtzigt during the call. Hoekstra said that Omtzigt was considering "medical help". He also said that Ank Bijleveld, the current Minister of Defense who has been advising the CDA board, and interim party chairman Marnix van Rij spent "dozens, dozens, dozens" of hours trying to convince Omtzigt to stay in the party. Bijleveld said that the 76 page memo also says something about Omtzigt's "state of mind".
Van Rij said that Omtzigt told him that the memo was leaked by someone in Omtzigt's own circles. In the memo, Omtzigt said that former CDA chairman Rutger Ploum promised him the role of party leader when Hugo de Jonge stepped down, but instead the role went to Hoekstra. According to Van Rij, Ploum told him that it is "pertinently not so" that he promised Omtzigt the CDA leadership.
In a response to NU.nl, a CDA spokesperson said that Hoekstra's comments about Omtzigt's health regarded the "medical indication" that Omtzigt needed to get sick leave. The former CDA parliamentarian has been at home with a burnout for some time. The spokesperson said that it was not the intention that journalists were given access to the call, and denied that Hoekstra talked about "medical help". According to the spokesperson, only Omtzigt's known health problems were mentioned.