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Gehrels wants mediator for PvdA

19 September 2007 - Fifteen aldermen, including Amsterdam’s Carolien Gehrels, have expressed their support for Lilianne Ploumen as new chairwoman of the PvdA. Ploumen is seen as the party establishment’s alternative for left-wing populist Jan Pronk.

Until next Sunday, PvdA members can cast their votes to elect a new party chairman. Pronk, a veteran of the 1960s New Left movement and former minister, is leading in the polls. However, some say his leadership style is too polarising.

Former PvdA chairman Ruud Vreeman has warned that Pronk would have a divisive effect on the party and would endanger the coalition with CDA and CU. He expressed his support for Ploumen. Pronk said Vreeman’s attack was a stab in the back coordinated by the party establishment.

In a statement released today, fifteen aldermen present Ploumen as a mediator who does not push herself to the forefront and who has an eye for local issues. Ploumen lives in Amsterdam Slotervaart and is currently director of the Cordaid development agency.

Illustration: Ploumen (photo: PvdA)


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