2012 Christian Democratic Appeal leadership election

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The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) announced a leadership election for the next party leader and Lijsttrekker (top candidate) for the Dutch general election of 2012. The party had not had an official party leader since the resignation of Jan Peter Balkenende.[1]


For the Dutch general election of 2010, Balkenende, for a fourth time as Lijsttrekker, resigned his position as party leader on June 9, 2010, taking political responsibility for the CDA's disappointing results in the election. He remained as Prime Minister of the Netherlands until the new Rutte cabinet was installed on October 14, 2010.[2] After the formation of the 2010 Dutch cabinet, Maxime Verhagen, the unofficial deputy leader of the CDA, and Mark Rutte, party leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), agreed on a coalition with the Party for Freedom (PVV). Verhagen became Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and Deputy Prime Minister in the new Rutte cabinet, but shared the party leadership with Ruth Peetoom, the party chair,[3] and Sybrand van Haersma Buma, the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands.

The coalition was a minority cabinet, but with the support of the Party for Freedom, it had a small majority in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands until 20 March 2012, the day Hero Brinkman left the PVV. Although Brinkman had stated he would continue supporting the minority cabinet as an independent politician, the PVV withdrew its support on 21 April 2012 after negotiations on new austerity measures collapsed. His withdrawal paved the way for early elections.[4]


Candidates were able to participate until May 5. The following CDA members announced their candidacy.

Candidate Position(s) at the that time Former position(s) Reference
Sybrand van Haersma Buma 2012.jpg
Sybrand van Haersma Buma
Parliamentary leader - House of Representatives of the Netherlands
(since 2010)
Member of the House of Representatives
(since 2002)
Liesbeth Spies 2012.jpg
Liesbeth Spies
Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
(since 2011)
Party chair (2010-2011)
Member of the House of Representatives (2002-2010)
Henk Bleker
State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation
(since 2010)
Party chair (2010) [7]
Madeleine van Toorenburg Member of the House of Representatives
(since 2007)
Marcel Wintels [9]
Mona Keijzer Alderman in Purmerend [10]


On May 18, 2012 Sybrand van Haersma Buma got 51% of the votes, and a second round was not necessary.[11]

Declined to run[edit]

The following people, who were speculated to be potential candidates for the leadership election but publicly denied interest, declared that they would not run, or decided to retire from politics.


External links[edit]