Despite criticism of his leadership, CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra will not resign after the historic defeat. He does think that the cabinet should examine major plans – for example regarding nitrogen – in order to listen more closely to the voter. That can lead to friction with D66.
The pressure on the CDA top is increasing now that the party has almost halved in the elections on Wednesday. Today there is busy consultation between representatives from provinces, the party leadership and the executive committee.
The youth branch of the CDA openly doubts the suitability of Wopke Hoekstra, in provinces it is also strongly stated that ‘all options are on the table’. But a departure of the third party leader in four years is not the solution, argue the parliamentary party and Hoekstra themselves.
He wants to stay on, he repeated Friday morning. “My observation is that there is broad support in the party for me. But this isn’t about me. The voter has given a very clear slap on the ear to all politicians. Then you cannot continue as if nothing is wrong, not in terms of content or style.”
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According to Hoekstra, ‘the major files must be looked at anyway’. Hoekstra first wants to discuss within the cabinet what exactly needs to be changed in nitrogen and climate plans. “But I don’t think you can go on with blinkers without consequences.”
The big winner BoerBurgerBeweging has formulated two breaking points that are at odds with government policy. BBB does not want farmers to be forced to buy out and wants 2030 out of the nitrogen law.
If CDA, but also CU and VVD, are inclined to move in that direction, a hard confrontation with D66 will probably follow, which party wants to stick to the deadline. Still, space must be created, say CDA deputies in provinces. “Putting target on target on target without solutions is not what we are looking for in this country,” says CDA deputy Peter Drenth. “There must be more room around the nitrogen targets, there is only one resilience of a society. People need to see a dot on the horizon.”
Last night it leaked that the Ministry of Agriculture is already looking for room to accommodate the BBB. Drenth: “The new nitrogen law with 2030 as the target has not yet been discussed by the House of Representatives, so I still have to see that anyway. I would say: let the provinces first see if they can come up with stable coalitions.”
Although at the provincial formation table the question will certainly soon arise at BBB: what margins are there, will expropriation and 2030 be removed from the legislation and regulations or not? And then the ball is soon in the court of the Hague coalition.
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