In Landgraaf, the PVV participates for the first time. The party leader is René Claassen. He is also party leader of the PVV in the Limburg Parliament. Second on the list is Roger Ernst. He is also a member of the state.
D66 has dropped out and this time does not come with a list.
Four years ago, Landgraaf was the only municipality in Limburg where a party obtained an absolute majority. GGBL then won 13 of the 25 seats. It was a reward for the resistance against a reclassification with Heerlen. Traditionally, the party comes up with three separate lists, divided over the three former municipalities that form Landgraaf: Ubach over Worms, Schaesberg and Nieuwenhagen. There is hardly a new name at the top of those lists.
Village Lists GGBL
On the GGBL list of candidates for Ubach over Worms, councilor Patrick Mevissers is the leader, just like in 2018, for councilor Jo Logister and councilor Christian Wilbach. Party chairman Ton Embregts follows at 4, councilor Ed Gubbels is 5. Former alderman Hans Erfkemper is list pusher. GBBL Schaesberg has the same pattern. Alderman Alex Schiffelers draws the list again, for four sitting councilors. Former alderman and former deputy Andy Dritty is list pusher. GBBL Nieuwenhagen also has the same leader with alderman Freed Janssen as in 2018.
Voice gun Heinrichs
But here are some more differences. For example, the young Indra Hoesen is new on the list with a second place. And with Wiel Heinrichs, a political veteran is now on GBBL’s list. Heinrichs made his political comeback as a former alderman, councilor and member of parliament for the CDA in 2018 with his own list LWH. That officially stood for Landgraaf Wil Het but could be read as List Wiel Heinrichs. He then won one seat.
Heinrichs also supported the GBBL and CDA coalition. Because he did not find it feasible to function as a one-man faction, he sought affiliation with GBBL. And they have now put him as a voice cannon in third place on the list for Nieuwenhagen.
Switchers to GBBL
Paul Baur, second at LWH in 2018, went with Heinrichs and took seventh place at GBBL. Seats four to six are also sitting councilors. Remarkable is also place eight for Sjaak Reumkens. He previously sat in the city council for a number of periods for the CDA. He missed the social face of his old party. Councilor Delano Lankhorst (23) will not return after 4 years. He can no longer combine his council membership with his own business.
Youngest alderman in the Netherlands
Alderman Stijn Kropman is party leader of the CDA. At 23 years old, he is the youngest alderman in the Netherlands. Kropman succeeded Ramon Lucassen in September last year. He resigned to become an advisor to the management of the Regional Implementation Service (RUD) South Limburg. Kropman was elected to the municipal council in 2018 with preferential votes. Second on the CDA list is Marlies Dreissen. She joined the council in September as Kropman’s successor. She also became the new party leader.
Back after hassle about permit
Dreissen resigned as alderman earlier in August 2019 following, as she called it at the time, a ‘discussion’ about a building permit granted to her and her husband. She wanted to avoid a discussion about possible influence. But she is now back in Landgraaf politics.
Also read: Hassle for a permit: Alderman Landgraaf resigns
Ex-PvdA now third in CDA
Third on the CDA list is alderman Bart Smeets. He succeeded Dreisen. Smeets left the PvdA faction in December 2016 because he did not agree with the party’s pro-reclassification stance. He later joined the CDA and was in third place, just like now in 2018. Councilor Wim Haan is in 6th place, after two new wanted persons. Haan made his comeback in October 2019 as the successor of Bart Smeets when he became alderman. Councilor and former party leader Gaston Huth will retire after sixteen years. He is no longer on the list of candidates.
‘Enough of the political climate’
The PvdA comes with new faces in the top-3. This has to do with the fact that the current two councilors – Cynthia Veerman and Jim Bemelen – have decided to stop. They were still the numbers two and three in 2018. Veerman states that she can no longer combine her position with her work. Moreover, she has had enough of the political climate in Landgraaf, because of the absolute majority of GBBL. The party leader is now Melvin Roeleveld, ahead of John Haex and former member of parliament Frank de Langen. Former alderman Jan Bonten is fourth.
The 2018 party leader, Robin Reichrath, stepped out of politics in September 2018 after almost nine years. The once youngest councilor in the Netherlands opted for a job at the registry of the province. Later he became a clerk in Gulpen-Wittem.
SP after fracture
Marc van Caldenberg is again the SP’s leader, ahead of John Ubachs. Van Caldenberg is also party leader of the SP in the Limburg Parliament. The SP fraction was halved halfway through the period when councilor Liam Reumkens left in May 2020 and continued as a one-man faction under the name De Progressieves. Reumkens will not return after the elections.
Veteran at Elderly
The Elderly Party Landgraaf is a new party leader with Wil van Oosteroom. That also applies to Louis Cordewener in second place. Party chairman Rob Münstermann and councilor Lenie Toussaint quit. They are still respectively as list pusher (30th) and 28th on the candidate list. Before this period, party leader Van Oosteroom had been on the council for 28 years. He broke with his party GBBL in July 2017 because he disagreed with GBBL’s anti-reclassification stance.
Party chairman Lucas Baggerman is the party leader for the VVD, ahead of newcomer Wendy Franssen. Former councilor Björn Lambie is fourth. Until September 2020, he formed the one-man faction of the VVD. In total, he served on the council for more than ten years. Lambie wanted to prioritize his work. Former alderman and former Member of Parliament Kelly Regterschot is the list pusher.
Marriage bond GroenLinks with PvdA
At GroenLinks a similar story as at the VVD. Thomas Boijmans resigned there after almost seven years for the same reason as Lambie. At the end of January, Mireille Haex was installed as his successor. She is now also the party leader of GroenLinks. It is interesting that she is the wife of the number two on the list of the PvdA, John Haex. At GroenLinks, Marleen Stijns is in second place. Former councilor and member of parliament Helma Gubbels is number four.
Little honor for opposition
Administrative relations were clear in the past period with GBBL’s absolute majority. Although the party did form a coalition with CDA and LWH, the opposition could not gain much credit as a result. The big question in the elections is therefore whether GGBL will retain its generous position.
Landgraaf decided, among other things, to work on the promotion of its tourist attractions, such as Mondo Verde and Snowworld. The tourist cycle path (under construction) through Parkstad – the Leisure Lane should also be given considerable attention. The city council also drew a line through three windmills in Abdissenbosch.
Also read: Anti-reclassification parties big winners in Landgraaf
Result 2018 – 25 seats
GBBL – 13
CDA – 3
Labor Party – 2
SP – 2
Elderly Party Landgraaf – 2
VVD – 1
GreenLeft – 1