D66 will hold a members meeting on Sunday on cross-border behavior. It would, of course, be about the former party strategist’s MeToo issue, but especially about the way the party would handle such a thing. What’s going on?
First, the MeToo case: came end of 2020 rolling. Then a woman posted a story online accusing a senior D66 member of infringing behaviour.
The man, the party strategist, Frans van Dremelen, is said to intimidate and manipulate women within the party. That would not only happen to the letter writer, but to another D66 employee as well.
According to the whistleblower, Van Drimmelen helped women within the party get a better place in exchange for sex or a relationship.
Who is Frans Van Dremelen?
- Van Dremelen has been chair of the National Talent Committee at D66 since 2014.
- He had a strong opinion of who held important positions within the party.
- Prior to that, he was Treasurer of the National Council, and from 1999 to 2003, Director of the National Campaign.
- Since 2018, Van Drimmelen no longer has an official position in the party.
D66 quickly began investigating the complaint. Two months later, in February 2021, a report surfaced showing that there was no evidence of any dissenting behavior by Van Dremelen.
You think not much has happened yet. But:
de Volkskrant And revealed last month that the investigation was not over after the publication of that report. The new information, which only emerged after that report was published, would have shown that the woman was ultimately right. However, this information has not been made public by D66.
Furthermore, according to several important members of D66, nineteen other complaints about infringing behavior were not properly investigated. But according to research agency BING, the complaints were not investigated, in part because the complainants themselves did not want to.
a week after VolkskrantDisclosure, D66 admitted to making serious errors in the investigation of Van Drimmelen’s conduct. But a new investigation found no need for the party. Party leader Sigrid Kaj admitted that she had known about the matter for a year, but had hardly taken any action.
In the messy press conference in which the D66 admitted mistakes, Cage appeared to hide behind the formalities. And she kept repeating when asked why she didn’t act when I asked her for help in person: “I made the mistake of not following through. But I didn’t have any official role.” This is an official matter for the party council and not for the party leader.
She described it as “horrific” for people to feel insecure, and said she “had to call ‘the woman in question herself.'” This infringing behavior should have had consequences sooner.
Van Drimmelen denied wrongdoing for a long time. Only the end of April, after bulletins de Volkskrantcanceled his membership in D66.
Primarily, of course, this issue is so painful for the woman who has been ignored for months by the party leadership, the Cage, and all the other potential victims. But also for Cage himself. Kaag has always made a key point about women’s rights, promising “new leadership” with an open and transparent style of government ahead of last year’s elections. Keeping information about infringing behavior confidential is, of course, anything but that.
In a petition, at least seven hundred D66 members called a meeting at which the top D66 would determine the status and hidden information. This meeting is today. First, there are discussions by members in small groups behind closed doors. The public segment will begin at 3:30 p.m. In it, Kaag and party leader Victor Everhard give two speeches.
The meeting will discuss “what needs improvement in the future”. Kaag will undoubtedly be subject to critical questioning by members of her party, but there are no vociferous calls for her to leave. At least not in public.
“My goal is not: Heads should roll,” says Daphne Pleugestra, one of the petitioners, in The password† “I don’t think it was resolved by the resignation of Cage or Everhardt. Opening up is the most important, restoring trust.”
What about the case of the D66 MEP?
- Another D66 member is also under fire: Samira Raphael. She is one of the two MEPs of the D66.
- Three former employees of the D66 Integrity Commission contacted complaints about abuse of power and bullying by Raffaella.
- The commission declared the complaints well-founded, and the NRC found out in classified documents.
- This leads to a fight between fellow D66 MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld that the two no longer work together.
- The party’s board of directors has yet to say anything about this. There is a good chance to discuss it on Sunday.