Pronk regrets his comment on Balkenende
6 September 2007 THE HAGUE – Jan Pronk, who along with six other candidates, is running for the position of PvdA party chairman, regrets having called Prime Minister and leading CDA member Jan Peter Balkenende “ a liar”.
6 September 2007
THE HAGUE – Jan Pronk, who along with six other candidates, is running for the position of PvdA party chairman, regrets having called Prime Minister and leading CDA member Jan Peter Balkenende “ a liar”.
In an interview on Wednesday with the free sheet De Pers Pronk said that he had made ‘a political error’. “These past few years I have found it annoying when people mixed up political criticism with personal qualifications. Now I have made that same mistake myself.”
Pronk made his comment on Tuesday night during a debate with the other candidate chairpersons. But when driving home after the debate he ‘did not have a good feeling’, he admitted.to De Pers
In his qualification of Balkenende Pronk referred to the involvement of the Netherlands in the war in Iraq. Pronk feels that the Netherlands led by the prime minister was ‘dragged’ into the war in a deceitful manner. The PvdA is in favour of holding a parliamentary inquiry into the issue but in the government formation the PvdA promised to abandon this idea. Pronk believes that the PvdA should have insisted on an inquiry.
CDA faction leader Pieter van Geel and his fellow faction leader of the ChristenUnie Arie Slob distanced themselves from Pronk’s comments on Wednesday. Van Geel referred to Pronk’s comments as ‘a sign of weakness’ and added that luckily the relationship in the coalition with the PvdA was good. Slob pointed out that the Speaker of the Lower House has been very tough on Geert Wilders, a member of parliament for the Party for Freedom when he uses bad language. “Others should look at themselves and see whether they are contributing to a more harmonious society.
In total seven candidates are vying for the position of party chairperson. The PvdA members can vote for one of the candidates between 16 and 23 September. The party will announce the name of the winning candidate on 25 September.
[Copyright Expatica News +ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news