The referee of the left-right duel during legislative elections in the Netherlands will be the unexpected Pieter Omzigt.

Amina, she said, had never thought about voting, but she could change her mind on Wednesday, November 22. On that day, during legislative elections, the Dutch will go to the polls to shake off the era of Mark Rutte, the liberal leader who ruled the kingdom for thirteen years. This fifty-year-old of Algerian descent, who prefers to withhold his surname, lives in a block of flats in Imerloo II, in the Arnhem district in the east of the country. Almost 70% of the inhabitants are of non-European origin, 60% of them have only a primary school diploma and 96% of the housing is HLM: Immerloo II is the poorest area of ​​this rich country. The average annual household income there is 27,700 euros, which is almost three times lower than the national average.

After leaving the community center, Amina is undeterred by the pouring rain as she explains in detail her sudden interest in politics. Or rather, for Peter Omzigti, the leader of the New Social Contract (NSC), the party founded in August by this Christian-Democratic dissident, which spoiled the election.

This man single-handedly defended the victims of the huge so-called “benefits” scandal against almost everyone – and against Mark Rutte’s government. A system of algorithms developed in 2013 to detect family benefit fraud actually amounted to a kind of racial profiling with dramatic results: wrongly accused, tens of thousands of families, often poor, were forced to pay back money they really owed. authorized.

Hunted by the IRS, some were driven into debt, some were evicted from their homes, and approximately 2,000 children were taken from their parents’ custody. About 90,000 young people were victims of discrimination, which the authorities only recognized as a result in 2022. “Institutional Racism”.

“Peter Omzigt demanded justice for all these people, Amina recalls. We don’t talk much in this neighborhood, but I hope to convince people to vote for him. » The topic of discrimination is far behind immigration, housing, climate or health in the concerns of Dutch voters, but the NSC leader’s struggle with his desire. “change system”, he gained great popularity. His return to The Hague at the end of 2021, after a sixteen-week burn after a barrage of abuse from his opponents but also political friends, marked the beginning of his rise.

Source: Le Monde



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