Mayor Jan Boelhouwer of Waalre came under attack again. He passed on information to the NOS (Dutch Broadcaster) about possible new ministerial posts for Sigrid Kaag and Wopke Hoekstra. According to many council members, this was a stupid act.
Boelhouwer wanted to inform a journalist of the NOS. Due to an error, the message reached the wrong person, who then published it on Twitter.
Joke Beuger, Groen Links (green left) chairwoman, is not happy with the event. “It affects his integrity and that is also one of his portfolio responsibilities, so I wonder how people are going to take that”, Beuger says horrified. “We shouldn’t sweep it under the carpet. In the past, that also led to an explosion. I hope that we will get round the table with the group members”.
ZW14 (Waalre political party) does not want to get ahead of the facts. Party chairman Bert Links: “We first want to know what it is about before we pass judgement. If it is about leaks, we will have to see within the party what we do about it”. Nevertheless, the party thinks the whole situation was not cleverly handled.
“Disappointing and inappropriate, that is how VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy) Waalre qualifies the way Mayor Boelhouwer dealt with sensitive information about the Dutch cabinet formation”, VVD party chairman Daan Damen says.
According to the mayor himself, there is nothing wrong. Boelhouwer: “It is usual for political circles to talk about the Dutch cabinet formation. This is not the same as leaking information. I came to know this information and there was no confidentiality attached to it”. What Boelhouwer did is not punishable, as far as we know.
Parties AWB and CDA (christian democrats) think the whole event has nothing to do with Waalre. “It is a matter of thrill seeking above all. It’s all being blown up”, Suzan van de Goor-Gelens, parliamentary group chairman for the CDA, says. Jo Claessen, chairman of the AWB parliamentary group, adds: “The stakes are high for leaks, but I don’t know if that’s really the case.”. Within the municipality it is not yet clear what the next step will be.
Translated by: Bob