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ChristenUnie

The ChristenUnie (Christians Union) is a new political party in the Netherlands. It combines a conservative point of view on ethical issues (such as abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage) with more left-wing, social democrat ideas on social-economic and environmental issues.

The party was formed in 2001 from the combination of two parties, the GPV[?] and the RPF[?], which had fought the 1998 elections separately. Together the parties had 5 seats (GPV 2, RPF 3) out of 150 in the Dutch parliament before the 2002 elections. They were expected to make a light gain, getting to about 7 seats, but the opposite happened, and the ChristenUnie lost one seat to end up with 4.

The political leader is Kars Veling[?]. After the 2002 elections it has been argued that this had been a bad choice, Vreling (it was argued) being someone who was good at keeping the peace internally in a party still somewhat divided amongst the old GPV-RPF line, but not someone who was a useful candidate for interesting the general population. Therefore a new political leader was appointed, Andre Rouvoet[?].

In the 2003 elections, the ChristenUnie lost another seat, keeping only 3, probably because supporters of the party voted CDA instead to make that party the largest.

See also Benjamin Anker.

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