Reporters name Donner as politician of the year

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — The parliamentary press pool in The Hague has elected Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner as politician of the year.

19 December 2005

AMSTERDAM — The parliamentary press pool in The Hague has elected Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner as politician of the year.

Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst - the architect of the coalition government's fundamental reform of the healthcare system - came in second place. The results of the poll were announced on Sunday on Radio 1 Journal (news).

Members of the Parliamentary Press Association were asked to nominate a national politician for the title. This is the third year the election has been held, and the first time the honour has gone to a minister.

The jury picked Donner because he "steers a steady course, is unshakable and is good in debate", despite having by far the most difficult brief in government.

Referred to as "Minister spoeddebat" (Minister Emergency Debate) because of the number of times he has been called before MPs, Donner always stands tall and is imperturbable. The jury also praised Donner's "dry humour".

A total of five ministers were nominated this year for politician of the year. Donner was the only member of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA) to be nominated.

The other ministers in the running were all members of the Liberal Party (VVD). They were VVD leader Gerrit Zalm (Finance), Hoogervorst (Health), Henk Kamp (Defence) and Rita Verdonk (Immigration and Integration). 

Last week it was announced Verdonk had been voted the best politician of the year in a an opinion poll of the public conducted for television news programme TweeVandaag. Verdonk was praised for her "clear language" and "trustworthiness".

Highlighting the mixed feelings about Verdonk, she also came third in the rankings for the worst politicians in the poll.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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