More political upheaval as Keijzer quits CDA, JA21 falls apart

The parliamentary complex in The Hague. Photo:

CDA stalwart and potential leadership candidate Mona Keijzer is leaving the party following what insiders say is wrangling over the possible appointment of Nijmegen mayor Hubert Bruls to the role, RTL Nieuws has reported.

Keijzer was sacked from the previous government by Mark Rutte, where she was junior economic affairs minister for her criticism of Hugo de Jonge’s coronavirus strategy.

Despite her popularity among voters, she later lost in a CDA leadership contest to De Jonge. Not currently an MP, she has been part of the committee writing the party’s election manifesto for the November 22 general election.

Meanwhile, Derk Jan Eppink from minor right-wing party JA21 has said he will not be included on the party’s list of election candidates either. He is the second of the three JA21 MPs to say they were leaving, following Nicky Pouw-Verweij’s departure last month.

Eppink and Pouw-Verweij are both part of the group of MPs who broke away from Forum voor Democratie when it lurched to the far right. They were also both signatories to a letter by members to the JA21 board earlier this year, decrying the lack of democracy within the party.

Speculation is mounting in The Hague that Eppink, Pouw-Verweij and Keijser may join forces with either the pro-farmers BBB or with independent MP Pieter Omtzigt, who has not yet said whether or not he will run in November.

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