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Anita Bastiaans as a candidate for municipal executive Volt Maastricht

With great pride we, the council group of Volt Maastricht, announced om Tuesday evening 12 April that Anita Bastiaans has become our candidate municipal executive! This decision was of course made in good consultation with the South-Limburg board, the Dutch board and our former candidate. We also had the opportunity to discuss this with some of you in our open meetings last week in Kerkrade and in Maastricht. In this letter we want to take you through how we came to that decision and how the past week went.

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Mart Den Heijer

On Thursday, April 7, the informers came out with their report of the talks with the sixteen Maastricht political groups. They proposed that a broad coalition be formed of Senioren Partij Maastricht (SPM), CDA, GroenLinks, D66, PvdA, VVD and Partij Veilig Maastricht (PVM). Although this would mean that Volt would not take its place in the coalition, our group explicitly expressed its cautious positivity about the proposal at the Geusselt meeting. This positivity lies in two important promises: first, a less stuffy coalition agreement with a clear role for opposition parties and, second, the retention of Bastiaans as municipal executive. 

Unfortunately, we immediately had to conclude that there was criticism about this proposal from various parties - both inside and outside the proposed municipal executives. Thus, the democratic legitimacy of using an independent Municipal executive quickly came under pressure. Bastiaans is an exceptionally capable Municipal executive who enjoys considerable support both in politics and in the city. The criticism we observed prompted the Maastricht Volt-Council group to enter into discussions with Bastiaans. The outcome of the talks was that she would like to be the candidateMunicipal executive on behalf of Volt.

When we made this decision known to the other parties, we said that Volt would be modest and that the major parties would have to be consulted first. On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 April, the informers had their first attempt at a coalition discussion on the agenda. Because this meeting was with the six largest parties (SPM, Groen Links, D66, CDA, VVD and PvdA) of the city, we - understandably - were not invited. Those parties came to the conclusion that same evening that the coalition in this form was not going to work. As a result, the situation changed rapidly: Wednesday night we received the message that Volt had been invited to the next coalition meeting with SPM, PvdA, D66, CDA and VVD.

As you know, we have always put connection at the heart of our campaign. In terms of content, this has meant that we not only want to connect Maastricht more with its European neighbors, but also that we want to better connect Maastricht people with each other. In this way we want to create a city that is there for all its inhabitants. Bastiaans, with her work in the social field, can play a crucial role in this. In addition, in recent weeks we have experienced that more connection is needed in politics itself: between coalition and opposition, left and right, progressive and conservative, and between political groups and administrators. We hope that we as Volt, now together with Bastiaans, can be the cement between these parties. 

Do you have any questions? Please send us a message: nl-maastricht@volteuropa.org.