In addition, the national party leadership has little interest in provincial politics, according to Koevoets. The way in which the party has dealt with the case of the marines barracks is an example of this, according to him. “This cabinet shamelessly cheats on the province. Then you just have to stand there as an opposition party.”
Despite his disappointment, he is still behind the views of the party. Especially in the field of democratic renewal, the reintroduction of a referendum, climate and immigration. Koevoets does not yet know whether he will join another party, “but for now I will certainly continue as an independent State member.”
Robert Koevoets has his own law firm in Rotterdam and specializes in criminal law and immigration. According to his own website, he is involved and reliable. In the past, Koevoets regularly appeared in the national media as a lawyer for illegal Chinese.
Fred Walravens, chairman of the party, thinks it is ‘annoying’, ‘surprising’ and ‘very unfortunate’ that Koevoets is leaving the party. Walravens cannot do anything with the criticism that Koevoets expresses on the party. “It transcends provincial politics, because it mainly disturbs the way in which the party manifests itself nationally,” says Walravens. “And we can’t do much with that.”
Walravens is still going to have a conversation with Koevoets in which he wants to ask him to return his seat to the party, instead of keeping him. “The voters voted for Baudet and Hiddema when they checked our names on the ballot paper.”
Jimmy will not be ignored by Forum for Democracy in Provincial States. “Just like with Robert Brunke (member of the States who stepped out of the party last year, ed.), We will also stay on with Koevoets on speaking terms. We still share a lot of views,” predicts Walravens.
Second States member
Koevoets is not the first Zeeland FvD States member to leave. In August 2019, five months after the Provincial Council elections, Robert Brunke stepped out of the Zeeland group. He also said he no longer recognizes himself in the Forum for Democracy and founded his own party: Pro Zeeland Party.
Forum for Democracy now has three seats in Provincial States, and they are no longer the third largest party, but the fifth. Shortly after the parliamentary elections, the party, together with the SGP, was the second largest group in the Provincial States.