Little support for Wiegel's ideas for VVD

22nd November 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2007, THE HAGUE - Former VVD leader Hans Wiegel wants the VVD to become a broader liberal movement encompassing Geert Wilders' Freedom party PVV and Rita Verdonk's Proud of the Netherlands (Trots op Nederland) party, as well as D66. If the members take a more right wing position they will have more influence, Wiegel wrote in a letter to the party executive of the VVD.

22 November 2007

THE HAGUE - Former VVD leader Hans Wiegel wants the VVD to become a broader liberal movement encompassing Geert Wilders' Freedom party PVV and Rita Verdonk's Proud of the Netherlands (Trots op Nederland) party, as well as D66. If the members take a more right wing position they will have more influence, Wiegel wrote in a letter to the party executive of the VVD.

But his proposal, announced in De Pers on Thursday, has mainly provoked negative reactions. VVD leader Mark Rutte does not like the idea of dissolving the party just because of one setback, he said. PVV leader Wilders said that "not in a hundred thousand years" would he join a broad liberal movement.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold rejected Wiegel's idea as well. He does not want to be in the same party as Verdonk, Wilders and VVD members like Henk Kamp. Only Rita Verdonk said Wiegel's idea was "interesting" and will come with a more detailed reaction later.

Wiegel has been unhappy with the VVD's political course for some time. On Wednesday it was reported that he had urged the resignation of the party executive, which he says did not do enough to keep Rita Verdonk in the VVD.

Proposals for a broad liberal movement encompassing the VVD and D66 are not new. Former VVD leaders Hans Dijkstal and Jozias van Aartsen made similar suggestions several years ago. Geert Wilders, at the time still an MP for the VVD, was already opposed to the idea at that time.

Wilders left the VVD in 2004 because he did not like the direction the party was taking. Verdonk was expelled from the faction a few months ago after repeated rows with Rutte. She has since left the party. The Verdonk situation will be discussed again during a VVD conference on 8 December.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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