Witzel is happy with the result. “We succeeded. With your enthusiasm, support and ideas, we will work to advance our party,” he says.
Businessman Brabant says he wants to prepare the party for the future. “We have to make it clear again what we stand for and what we want to achieve. We have been responsible for twelve years, but what has resulted? We have been adding water to wine for twelve years. We have to get the color back on the cheeks.”
Interim Chief’s Pick
In recent weeks, members have shown increasing support for Wetzels. For example, nearly thirty VVD leaders supported Weitzels’ candidacy. “It is clear that Eric is a candidate from the members,” initiator Malkis Jajan VVD, a party leader in Enschede, said in Enschede.
Members were considered hoes as a candidate for the party leadership itself. He was nominated by the board of directors and to this day was also interim chairman.
Show the alliance agreement to the members
Wetzels believes that by voting against Cabinet policy on nitrogen at the party convention, members have “sent a signal”. “I think you should have a discussion beforehand – although it won’t always be easy because in the coalition you also have to make concessions – rather than explaining to the then angry members in the halls why we made certain decisions.”
“We must remain known as the VVD. That is why I support introducing a coalition agreement to members in the future.”
Wetzels says he has no ambitions of becoming a director. “I also do not have the ambition to become a famous Dutchman. I am an entrepreneur. I am completely independent. I think it is good for someone to become a president who did not come from the Hague bubble. I also try to keep that fresh perspective.”
“VVD members indicate they want more influence on the party’s trajectory.”
Political reporter Roel Schreinemachers: “By choosing this relative outsider, the members of the VVD are sending a clear signal. They have not had much influence on the course of the party in recent years, and they think things really have to change. A few months ago, VVD supporters were already hearing from themselves by voting against Nitrogen plans for the Cabinet. A month ago, the asylum policy of Foreign Minister van der Burg caused a lot of resentment internally.”
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