GroenLinks Member of Parliament Henk Nijmeijer from Assen is a candidate for the Senate. He is number 7 on the draft candidate list for the Senate. GroenLinks now has eight seats in the Senate.

    The 64-year-old Nijmeijer is ‘super proud’. “It is quite something to get so high on the list as a regional candidate. The competition is very strong for a place in the Senate and it is not easy from the regions to intervene,” says the politician from Assen.

    Nijmeijer calls his seventh place on the list ‘highly eligible’. “Certainly, because we are doing well in the polls.” He has been sitting for GroenLinks in the Drents Parliament for almost eight years now. He led the parliamentary party until the middle of last year, but stepped down as chairman due to a new, busy job.

    Now that the opportunity to get into the Senate comes along, Nijmeijer grabs it with both hands. “I am 64, a good age to become a senator again”, Nijmeijer laughs. From 2006 to 2013 he was regional chairman of GroenLinks Drenthe, and from 2004 to 2006 department chairman of Midden-Drenthe.

    The list of candidates for the Senate will be finalized at the national party congress on 4 February.

    The 75 members of the Senate are elected by the members of the twelve Provincial Councils. The form is that of indirect elections. Next year there will be a new Senate, after the provincial elections of 15 March. Within three months of the parliamentary elections, the new members of parliament in turn elect the members of the Senate.

    At the moment there is not a single politician from Drenthe in the Senate. Only former Drent Henk Otten, leader of the Otten faction, is originally from Hijken. But he has been living in Amsterdam for years. Otten was co-founder of Forum for Democracy and represented that party in the Senate in June 2019. After a month he was already expelled from the faction after a big fight. He then started the Otten faction, which occupies two seats in the Senate.