Netherlands: MP Pieter Omtzigt leaves Christian Democratic party, intends to continue as independent

THE HAGUE / ENSCHEDE, the Netherlands – Dutch Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt on Saturday announced his decision to leave the ChristianDemocratic Party (CDA), which he served for 18 years in Dutch Parliament. In a letter published on Twitter, Omtzigt stated that after an internal document was leaked with his testimony before a party committee investigating months of (election) chaos and infighting within the Christian Democratic party, he has lost all hope that trust between him and the party could be restored. Currently at home with a burnout, he plans to return to parliament as an independent MP.

Omtzigt played a key role in uncovering the mishandling by government agencies in granting childcare benefits, with the Dutch Tax Authority e.g., using ethnic profiling to track down fraudsters. Thousands of families were wronged and left behind with high debts by the harsh and unjust policies. He claims that during the childcare scandal, he was been heavily opposed in his parliamentary work by his own party, by fellow MPs and ministers. He felt unsafe with his own party and says fellow ChristianDemocratic MPs and political assistants indoors even have called him names.

Last year, MP Pieter Omtzigt ran for the leadership fo the CDA, but narrowly lost. When the newly elected party leader withdrew, his party did not opt for Omtzigt, but for incumbent Treasury Secretary Wopke Hoekstra. The ChristianDemocratics lost in the March elections.

Omtzigt is married to the Syriac Ayfer Koç. Koç is a local politician for the same ChristianDemocrats. She leads the CDA-party in the municipal council of the couples home town of Enschede – home to some 12 thousand Syriacs – and intends to continue in her current role.

Dutch MP Pieter Omztigt at the June 2017 Brussels Conference: “A future for Christians in Iraq: A proposal by Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian political parties