D66 MPs unhappy after dropping down list of election candidates

Number 2 on the list, Jan Paternotte, during the last election campaign in 2021. Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg via Wikimedia Commons

Several D66 MPs are unlikely to return to parliament after being pushed down the list of candidates for the election in November, according to a leaked copy obtained by NRC.

Eighteen of the 24 MPs are seeking re-election, but with the party expected to lose between half and three-quarters of its seats, a position in the top 10 is seen as vital.

Party leader and climate minister Rob Jetten heads the list, followed by parliamentary group leader Jan Paternotte. Third place on the unconfirmed list is taken by Ilana Roodenkerk, leader of the party group on Amsterdam city council.

Five MPs are in the top 10, but the party’s controversial spokesman on agriculture, Tjeerd de Groot, is in 12th, Wieke Paulusma, who heads the campaign for next year’s European elections, is 14th, while digital rights spokeswoman and the first Dutch trans MP Lisa van Ginneken is 22nd.

Ministers absent

Apart from Jetten, the only D66 minister seeking a seat in parliament is mining minister Hans Vijlbrief.

Jetten told TV politics show Buitenhof at the weekend that compiling the list had been an “incredibly difficult puzzle”. But several MPs who were ranked lower than they expected could not hide their disappointment, NRC reported.

Climate spokesman Raoul Boucke announced on Twitter he was withdrawing his candidacy and would instead be standing in the European elections next June.

“I have come to the conclusion that Europe is a better place for me to work towards my ideals for the Netherlands and this beautiful continent,” he wrote.

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