D66 is running for election with three men in the top three. Party members made major changes to the draft list of candidates: the top newcomer had to give up third place to State Minister Hans Vegelbreev. Black human rights activist Mpanzo Bamenga has been moved down three places by members.
D66 submitted its draft list of candidates last week with several newcomers in the top ten, and with Amsterdam councilor Ilana Roederkerk behind Rob Jetten and Jan Paternot as the highest newcomers in third place. Bamenga’s high ranking was also eye-catching. The black D66 council member in Eindhoven is known to the general public for his fight against discrimination. Not only was he elected Eindhoven Council Talent of the Year in 2017, but he also won the Human Rights Award in 2021 for his fight against racial profiling by the Royal Military Police. In the wake of Bamenga’s ordeal, the court in The Hague banned the Marchioness from conducting tests on the basis of race and skin colour. D66 members moved it down three places to nine.
In recent days, members have been able to modify the draft list by voting up or down the candidates. It has happened, and very rarely. D66 members select the top three and six male leads in the top ten. Anne Mariejke Budt is the highest-ranking woman out of the four. Rooderkerk drops to sixth and Wieke Paulusma jumps from fourteen to seven. Hanneke van der Werf moves from seventh to eighth. Salima Belhaj, who was ranked 10th by the panel of candidates, was given 13th place as Most Likely Disqualified. The members also decided that the two candidates (Belhadj and Bamenga) with a migrant background in the top ten deserved a lower rating.
Party leader Çiten believed he could present the draft list to a new generation of D66 members. Many old faces can be found on the final list. Anne-Marieke Bodt (4th place), Joost Sneller (5th place), Vicki Bolsma (7th place), Haneke van der Werff (8th place) and Tjeerd de Groot (10th place) are the members of Parliament. Previously, No. 11 Yesim Candan withdrew when it became known that she had called former party leader Sigrid Kaag a witch and applied for a job in the FvD.
It is at least striking that D66 members chose this composition for their list of candidates. D66 emphasizes the importance of diversity in all segments of society. In its 2021 election manifesto, the party calls for a “government that looks like the Netherlands.” “This makes the government known to different groups of people and ensures an inclusive society.”
Judging by the trend in recent opinion polls, D66 has to factor in a much smaller number of seats than it currently has. Instead of the current 24 seats, D66 now has six to ten seats and the party enters the new House of Representatives with a male-dominated faction.
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