Green Left accepts Dutch mission in Afghanistan

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What had been billed as a major split within the Dutch Green Left GroenLinks opposition party fizzled out at the party’s conference on Saturday.

Reports said rank and file members were ready to back a censure motion against the party’s new leader, Jolande Sap. They were reported to be furious at the backing given by the parliamentary party to the minority right-wing government’s proposal for a Dutch police training mission in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province.

In the event, a censure motion was rejected by three-quarters of the just over 1,000 Green Left members present at the congress. A motion branding the backing of the mission as regrettable - but which nevertheless said Green Left was united and had confidence in the leadership - was carried by a small majority of conference delegates.

Farewell Outgoing Green Left leader Femke Halsema bade her party farewell during the conference. She served as a Green Left MP for 12 years and had earlier announced her retirement from active politics. She gave up the party leadership and parliamentary seat shortly before the furore began over the proposed mission to Afghanistan. Ms Halsema told conference delegates she was proud of her successor, Jolande Sap.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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