Pressure mounts on Job Cohen
Pressure on Dutch Labour leader Job Cohen increased today after the party chairperson Lilianne Ploumen openly criticised him in an interview in Dutch daily. Nevertheless Mr Cohen said he would not be standing down.
On Monday evening, Ms Ploumen announced she would standing down herself as chairperson in January. In the interview, she said Mr Cohen was not visible enough in the party. “He doesn’t bring out the best in the party.” Up to now the party’s problems had only been named by critics outside the party. She wants him to show more leadership in coordinating the opposition and to pay more attention to the provinces.
Her critcism could not have come at a worse time for the entrenched leader. His performance during debates has been under scrutiny since his difficult start as leader of the party last year. In the polls, the party has just 16 seats – the lowest number ever, but in parliament the party is the second largest with 30 seats. Recent polls show Labour voters’ faith in the Labour leader has dropped.
More than half think a new leader has to be found before the next election campaign. Nevertherless Mr Cohen has already said he wants to lead the party into the next election, but Ms Ploumen says he will face competition for this position.
Mr Cohen acknowledged the criticism of him and said he would see what he could do to address the problems.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide