D66 has been in crisis mode ever since de Volkskrant It was revealed this weekend that the D66 summit had overshadowed a year-long report showing that the party’s leading Frans van Dremelen had exhibited cross-border behaviour. The council promised to look again at the results of the investigation and was not able to calm the mood at the party. Critical proponents demand more explanation.
In an open letter circulating since Sunday, more than three hundred D66 members demanded that board and party leader Sigrid Kaag provide clarification within a week on how the #MeToo issue has been handled by the party’s top. In addition, a meeting of members must be called within three weeks at which Kaj and the party leadership are “in charge”.
The letter was signed by (former) board members, department heads, advisors, heads of local parties, and county council members. Former Rep. Matisse Sennott also supports the call. The number of signatories is still increasing.
Some of these members who de Volkskrant Speaking, suggesting that they feel cheated by the party leadership. An investigation published by Bing appears to have largely acquitted Van Dremelen on February 24 last year. On the basis of this report – just before the election – Kaag concluded that fortunately there was “no suspicion of a structurally unsafe environment” in her party.
As it turns out, Bing’s investigation is not yet complete. Three weeks later, an hour and a half before polling stations closed, the victim was shown the secret link that showed that there had indeed been dissenting behavior. The appendix containing the incriminating result was not shared with the outside world, not even after repeated requests from the victim to publicly agree with her.
The D66 members want to know why these findings are kept confidential, who in the party knows about them and why no action has been taken against Van Dremelen.
In the open letter, members described it as unacceptable that the party leadership had never made public the findings regarding Van Dremelen’s cross-border behavior and that no sanctions had been imposed against him. “By inaction, the board of directors has seriously damaged the trust between the party and the party leadership on the one hand, and its members and voters on the other.”
The first attempt this weekend to calm the nerves failed. Last Saturday, the party council announced that it would reconsider the Bing investigation. Kaag supports this move. But this is not enough for the initiators of the open letter, Daphne Pleugestra and Gilly Eggs. They will take another look at the research since then. They’ve been able to do this for a year,” says Eggs. We want to know what happened and we want victims to be recognized quickly. On Monday, the board met members. The board promised a new statement on Friday.
The party summit is still silent
The D66 leadership does not seem to know how to respond to the revelations. As the list of critical signatories grows, party leaders — who expressed their concern for the victims earlier this year — continue to do so. the sound – calm. Including CAG. Condolences to the victim, who has been struggling to come to terms with what happened to her since 2016, have not been publicly expressed by anyone in the party leadership. de Volkskrant I turned to the whole House faction to ask if they supported open speech. None of the representatives responded to this question.
Party leaders such as party leaders in the Senate and House and former party leader (Anlin Bredenward, Jean Paternotte, and Rob Gittin) declined to comment. Nor does former party leader Jean Thierlo want to respond objectively.
Party leader Kaag, who scored a major electoral victory with her promise of new (ethical) leadership, declined to answer questions about her role in the matter. It cannot be accessed by the media. Five days before publication, she received from de Volkskrant 35 questions On the issue, including the question of exactly when did you learn of the veiled conclusion and how you subsequently acted. So far no answer has been received.
In a written response to the members, Kaag asserts that she “has no or no access to” the confidential portion of the report in which Van Dremelen proves infringing behaviour. From written communication in the hand de Volkskrant However, it turned out that the victim “attended” to the party leader’s conclusions condemning the report around April 2021. Kaag did not want to discuss this with the victim, but referred her to the party’s attorney. In December 2020, the woman also called Kaag twice to no avail.
While there has been no public criticism from the highest party figures, it is also surprising that they have not put in place an extensive safety net for Cage. Nobody takes it publicly on the way the party leader and board of directors handled the matter.
Kag will have to explain to the members since she was fully aware of Van Drimmelen’s infringing behavior and what actions she took. But the most important question that still hung above her head was: why for a year and a half she did not deal with a female party member who had personally asked her for help three times.
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