Dutch Green leadership collapses after poll loss
THE GREEN party in the Netherlands was in disarray last night after a weekend of recriminations that saw its leader, its chairperson and its board of 15 directors all forced to resign after the party lost more than half its seats in the general election last month.
GroenLinks leader Jolande Sap had predicted the party would double its seats from 10 to 20 at the polls but her position became untenable when the party was trounced, returning with just four seats.
Ms Sap stood down on Saturday but only after a vote of no confidence by the party’s board. She had taken over from criminologist Femke Halsema less than two years ago, in December 2010. She was leaving, she said, with “a pain in my heart” to give the party an opportunity to rebuild.
However, Ms Sap’s departure was not the end of the weekend of GroenLinks blood-letting. Yesterday, Heleen Weening, the party’s chairperson, a paid position, said that having forced Sap out she too believed the only appropriate course was to resign. Ms Weening’s decision then sparked the resignation of the entire board of directors, leaving the party without its hierarchy.