Health minister Hugo de Jonge has won the leadership of the CDA Christian Democrats by a hair.
Standing against last-minute contender Pieter Omtzigt, De Jonge won 50.7% of the votes and will lead the party into its election campaign for March 2021. ‘We have a mission,’ he said after the announcement. ‘People’s worries and insecurity are great and that means they want to count on the CDA. We need to answer this insecurity, otherwise we will see uncertainty and polarisation in our society.’
Omtzigt, an MP who won justice for people wrongly penalised for ‘overclaiming’ child benefits, had only campaigned for two and a half weeks, but praised De Jonge and the party’s dedication to democracy. ‘It is great to be part of a party where newspapers say our debates are boring but we get the most viewers,’ he said.
The CDA has been in search of a new leader since Sybrand Burma left national politics in May last year to become mayor of Leeuwarden. In the meantime, the party was temporarily led by MP Pieter Heerma.
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