ChristenUnie leader quits politics, heads back to history

Arie slobThe leader of the small orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie is leaving politics after 14 years. Arie Slob said in an interview with newspaper Nederlands Dagblad that it is time for something new ‘after 14 years of top level sport’.

‘I think the party is ready and I have worked hard to make sure there are people who can take over,’ Slob said.

The ChristenUnie has five MPs and a key role as a member of the ‘constructive opposition’, one of several opposition parties which are prepared to work with the cabinet to ensure majority support in the senate for controversial legislation.

Prime minister Mark Rutte, who is currently in Japan, said in a reaction he is sorry to see Slob go. ‘He has integrity, is focused on solving problems and uses humour at the right moment,’ Rutte is quoted as saying by RTL news.

Gert-Jan Segers will take over as party leader when Slob leaves on December 1. His parliamentary seat will be taken by Eppo Bruins.

Slob, 53, has a new job as head of the social history centre Historisch Centrum Overijssel in Zwolle, where he comes from. He was a history teacher before becoming an MP in February 2001.

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