BIJ1 will participate in the Dutch parliamentary elections in November. This decision by the party council comes after the party’s leadership expressed their support for this move last Friday. There were uncertainties regarding the party’s participation, especially since BIJ1 would enter the election campaign without its most recognizable figure Sylvana Simons. In July, the party leader and sole Member of Parliament for BIJ1 declared her intention to step away from national politics.
Over the past few weeks, the anti-racist party was busy preparing for the elections behind the scenes. About a week ago, discussions were held to address the implications of Simons’ announcement that she would not continue as leader of the party. This discussion involved members of the party council, BIJ1 staff, and representatives from both national and local politics. They advised the party to participate in the elections.
Following these recommendations, the party council made its final decision. This decision was based on feedback from “a diverse group of core BIJ1 members”, including staff from the parliamentary faction, former local campaign leaders, and former party administrators. This group collaboratively developed an election campaign strategy.
A spokesperson stated that BIJ1’s role in the parliament was “important enough” to participate in the election again. When asked if there are concerns about securing enough votes to obtain a parliamentary seat without Simons, the spokesperson responded, “Such concerns exist for every party, even those with more seats.”
Moreover, the spokesperson received indications that people who voted for BIJ1 in the past intend to do so again. They believe that for many of these voters, there is no real alternative since BIJ1 is “one of the few parties truly advocating for systemic change.” For instance, the party pushes for a much higher minimum wage compared to other left-leaning parties.
In addition to searching for candidates and volunteers, BIJ1 is also actively seeking a new party leader, as indicated in their press release.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/08/08/bij1-announces-participation-november-election-despite-sylvana-simons-exit BIJ1 announces participation in November election despite Sylvana Simons’ exit