MP Omtzigt leaving CDA after party conflicts, benefits scandal
When he returns to parliament, former CDA member Pieter Omtzigt will not return to his party. A reconciliation seemed unlikely for some time, and in an interview with Tubantia, Omtzigt officially confirmed that he will continue on his own in the lower house of Dutch parliament. "At the moment I am not establishing a party," he added.
In an interview with Het Parool on Wednesday, Omtzigt added that quitting as parliamentarian was never an option with him. "I registered as candidate and received more than 342,000 preferential votes. In addition, I came up with a clear plan before the elections, a new social contract for a new governance culture. Then it makes sense for me to return to The Hague. To submit those proposals to parliament."
A special CDA congress is planned for this weekend. Members also called on the party to make amends with Omtzigt. But the party leaders have known for some time that Omtzigt will not return, said those involved. He is also said to have told the CDA that he does not intend to set up his own party.
In the Twente newspaper, Omtzigt said that he had been disagreeing with the CDA about substantive positions for some time. "And there were differences in how I think you interact with each other," he said.
In June, after a conflict with the CDA, Omtzigt announced that he was resigning his party membership. He then already expressed his intention to return as an independent parliamentarian.
The well-known parliamentarian expressed his anger about the way his party had treated him in a memo. The former CDA chairman allegedly promised him party leadership if then leader Hugo de Jonge gave up the position, for example. When De Jonge indeed stepped down, Wopke Hoekstra was put forward as party leader instead.
The memo leaked to the press, which caused a lot of internal unrest. In the upcoming congress, the CDA hopes to discuss the crisis int he party and be able to move forward.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.