Brabant Roel van Gurp back in the Senate for GroenLinks

A small act of defiance. That is how you can call the action of the Brabant GroenLinks party last Tuesday during the elections for the Senate. All five members did not vote for a candidate from the Randstad, but for Roel van Gurp from Waalwijk, so he can still return.

The Senate is elected by the members of the Provincial Council. Van Gurp was number nine on the list for GroenLinks. That place was actually too low for a seat, but thanks to the preferential votes from Brabant, it moved up a few places. He has also been a member of the Senate for the past four years.

The main task of the Senate is to check whether bills are well drafted and implementable.

“It still makes me dizzy.”

The action was not planned in advance. “I had heard rumors, but I’m not a fan of that,” says Van Gurp. He also had no contact with the party in Brabant prior to the elections.

Even after the vote on Tuesday, he still did not believe it. “I waited for the electoral council to officially announce the result.” When he confirmed that he would indeed return to the Senate, it really dawned on him. “I was totally surprised. I am still very happy but also overwhelmed. It made me dizzy the past few days and it still is.

It was also unexpected for the party board. The question was how they would react if it was not the candidate higher up on the list that got a seat, but Van Gurp. “We talked about it together, because of course you don’t want a conflict about this. The party board is not happy with preferential actions, but fortunately does not object in this case.”

The Brabant members of parliament could do this, because their vote for the Senate is worth 0.2 seats. That times five makes a whole seat for Van Gurp. Because of this action, Brabant is still represented in the GroenLinks party in the Senate. The rest of the GroenLinks senators come from the Randstad.

“I have knowledge about the region.”

Together with Mary Fiers of the PvdA, van Gurp will soon be one of two people from Brabant in the joint fraction of the PvdA and GroenLinks. “I want to make the voice of the province heard in the debate. It is important that every region is represented.”

“I will not be there as a representative of Brabant, but I do have a lot of knowledge about this region. My social life largely takes place here in Brabant and you take that with you. You know what people are talking about here.”

It is not yet clear which portfolio Van Gurp will receive. The tasks had already been divided before the elections and then it still seemed that Van Gurp would not return. For the past four years he has been involved in social affairs, including the new pension law.

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