Pieter Omtzigt to participate in parliamentary election with own party
Pietro Omtzigt will participate in the parliamentary election on November 22 with his own party called Nieuw Sociaal Contract, which translates to New Social Contract in English. This will turn the political playing field upside down. Omtzigt does not want to become Prime Minister and will remain in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, if elected.
He announced his decision in an interview with the Twente newspaper Tubantia. “We have been preparing for a while,’ he told the newspaper. He founded the party on Saturday. The program is complete, but the list of candidates is not yet.
Spearheads of the new movement are “good governance” and “security of existence,” according to the new party’s foundation document. A third key point is “sensible international cooperation.” The latter involves Omtzitght’s concerns about the sustainability of the euro, among other things.
“These ideas not only demand something from politicians in The Hauge, but they also demand a contribution from everyone in the Netherlands. Only if society and politics work together can we provide homes, livelihoods, and a mature, fair, and open government,” said Omtzigt. In concrete terms, the party advocates for a constitutional court, a new electoral system, and fewer information officers, among other things.
Omtzigt’s decision changes the campaign. In a recent poll, he got 46 parliamentary seats if he participated. He called that “unrealistic and not responsible” in the newspaper, although he strives for a “strong new party.” It should become clear at the end of September how big his list of candidates will be.
“Becoming the biggest is not the goal. We want to realize our ideals, not power for power. I have detailed plans. I would be thrilled if other parties could join our plans so that we can work together,” he said in Tubantia. He does not see coalition cooperation with the far-right PVV and FvD happening, he said in the interview.
Omtzigt was a CDA parliamentarian for a long time, but he left the party two years ago after a heated conflict. Since then, he has been a one-man faction in the Tweede Kamer. The CDA recently tried in vain to restore the ties, but Omtzigt said that “the book with the CDA is closed.”
The 49-year-old Omtzigt built up a reputation as a tenacious parliamentarian. Together with Renske Leijten of the SP, Omtzigt played a leading role in exposing the benefits scandal. During the crisis within the CDA, he was at home with burnout for several months.
Criticism of Omtzigt includes the reproach that he always wants to investigate everything and does not make decisions.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times