Coalition under stress as VVD kicks Van Haga out after yet more trouble

The VVD has decided to remove Wybren van Haga from the party following his involvement as a landlord in a property that he owns. After a group meeting, Klaas Dijkhoff, leader of the VVD, stated that van Haga had violated previous agreements made in line with the findings of the Integrity Committee by continuing to act as a landlord of the properties he owns.

Van Haga has not decided whether he will resign as a member of the lower house yet, saying that he first wants to consult some people. “It’s a lot to process.”

Van Haga’s past indiscretions

Van Haga has a history of causing trouble for himself: since the end of 2017 he has been the subject of an internal integrity inquiry by the VVD. Last year he was told to decide between continuing his work as an entrepreneur while also having a seat in the Chamber of Commerce. He was also caught driving under the influence of alcohol this summer.

The coalition will be under stress if Van Haga decides to become an independent. Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen.

Van Haga’s reaction

After 38 years as a VVD member, van Haga declared that he was disappointed in the party’s decision. “Their calculation came to a different result than my own.” He admitted that he had sent an email to a tenant, but denied that this had violated the agreement he had made last year.

“The fundamental problem here… is whether you can be an entrepreneur and a representative of the people at the same time.” He said.

Consequences for the coalition

If van Haga decides to continue as an independent member of the lower house, the VVD will only have 32 of the 33 seats left and the government coalition of VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie will only have 75 seats. The government will lose its majority and need to work with smaller parties to regain it.

Featured Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen. 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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