Six prominent JA21 members, including MEPs Rob Roos and Rob Rooken, are leaving the party. They criticized the party leadership and in particular co-founder Annabel Nanninga, who is nevertheless running for a seat in the Tweede Kamer. Her candidacy, critics say, promotes a job carousel, something that JA21 should oppose.
#JA21 is niet de partij geworden die het moest worden. Interne democratie ontbreekt, professionaliteit ontbreekt, inhoudelijke verbreding blijft uit. Daarom zeg ik vandaag mijn lidmaatschap op: pic.twitter.com/TvGktFRWqu
— Rob Rooken (@rooken) August 26, 2023
The fact that Nanninga spoke in a recent interview in a “derogatory” way about party members who are critical of her candidacy for the Tweede Kamer is disappointing for the prominent MEPs. Internal democratization and professionalization have failed, the party members, including former MP Johan Almekinders, note. “From this, we conclude that JA21 is not the right answer to the big questions of our time,” they wrote in a letter, referring to the abbreviation in the party’s name that stands for Right Answer.
Therefore, they canceled their membership. The JA21 party leadership said in a response that party members had already been asked once to leave the party. This happened because it proved impossible to “jointly propagate” the center-right course of the small party. “This has now been complied with by these politicians themselves,” the party said.
Earlier, MPs Nicki Pouw-Verweij and Derk Jan Eppink announced that they would not stand for JA21 after the elections. Together with Almekinders, Pouw-Verweij had previously criticized the slow pace of internal democratization.
Nevertheless, Roos and Rooken will continue as deputies, according to a spokesperson. They will also remain in the conservative parliamentary group to which they already belonged under the JA21 banner.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/08/26/meps-leave-ja21-failed-democratization-party MEPs leave JA21 over ‘failed democratization’ party