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ChristenUnie faces discontent over progressive stance

Urk party chapter sees leftwing drift

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ZWOLLE - Members of ChristenUnie (CU), a small Christian party, have told its leader Andre Rouvoet, who served as a minister in the Balkenende cabinet, that in their opinion their party has become too progressive.

A delegation from Urk, one of ChristenUnie's bulwarks, says that ChristenUnie has become environmentalist GroenLinks with a Christian varnish. The drift leftward is a deep concern to the Urk's CU chapter, reports spokesman Albert Woord, who finds it difficult to defend his party's positions to his townsmen.

There are also complaints that the party supports leftwing policies and positions that make it very difficult for farmers to operate their affairs.

Rouvoet rejected the call to abandon his definition of his party as Christian-social, saying that Christian politics by definition is social politics: defending the vulnerable and the position of families. Leftwing his party is not, he said, because it allows the government a limited role in society. The CU does not form any bloc with leftwing parties, according to Rouvoet.