BBB names Mona Keijzer as prime minister candidate; Fired from Rutte III Cabinet

Farmers party BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) has named Mona Keijzer as prime minister candidate for the upcoming elections scheduled on November 22. The party informed its members of the decision on Friday in Deventer. The ex-CDA party member and former State Secretary will be second on the candidate list. Party leader Caroline van der Plas, who previously said she would not want to become prime minister if her party wins the elections, will remain at the top of the list.

“Should the BBB secure a spot in the new Cabinet following the Nov. 22 elections, and is tasked with naming a prime minister, the party will nominate Keijzer as its prime minister candidate,” the party wrote in a statement published on their website.

Keijzer announced her departure from the CDA in early August. This was a blow for the Christian-democrats, as she was very popular in the party. She was elected as a parliamentarian for the CDA in 2012. In 2020, Keijzershould to become the CDA party’s list leader position but lost to Hugo de Jonge and Pieter Omtzigt. During the 2017 elections, she garnered over 165,000 votes.

Keijzer served as the State Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Rutte III Cabinet. She was dismissed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte in September 2021 for criticizing the government’s coronavirus policy in De Telegraaf. In February 2022, she launched a petition against the Covid access pass system, which gathered thousands of signatures.

BBB also announced on Friday that ex-PVV parliamentarian Lilian Helder will be number four on the candidate list. Helder announced in July that she would not seek re-election for the Tweede Kamer for the PVV due to “personal and substantive reasons.” Ex-JA21 parliamentarians Derk-Jan Eppink and Nicki Pouw Verweij will also be on the BBB candidate list, the party announced on Friday.

The farmers’ party BBB won massively in the Provincial Council elections earlier this year. The BBB has been losing support recently, according to recent polls, as asylum policy – the reason behind the Rutte IV Cabinet’s collapse – pushed nitrogen and agriculture somewhat to the background of voters’ minds. With Omtzigt’s party participating, the BBB stood at 12 seats in the polls on August 21. In the previous poll on 2 July 2023, the party had 27 seats. Many BBB voters may vote for Omtzigt instead. If Omtzigt weren’t participating, the BBB would have 21 seats in Saturday’s poll.

Image Caroline van der Plas talking to party members on September 1, 2023. Caroline van der Plas talking to party members on September 1, 2023. – Credit: BBB / Youtube – License: All Rights Reserved

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