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Jan Marijnissen

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Jan Marijnissen

Jan Marijnissen
Jan Marijnissen in 2006
Chairman of the Socialist Party
Assumed office
20 May 1988
Preceded by Hans van Hooft
Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
In office
17 May 1994 – 17 June 2010
Parliamentary Leader of the Socialist Party in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
In office
17 May 1994 – 20 June 2008
Preceded by New creation
Succeeded by Agnes Kant
Leader of the Socialist Party
In office
20 May 1988 – 20 June 2008
Preceded by Hans van Hooft
Succeeded by Agnes Kant
Personal details
Born Johannes Guillaume Christianus Andreas Marijnissen
(1952-10-08) 8 October 1952
Oss, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Socialist Party (from 1972)
Other political
Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands (1970–1972)
Spouse(s) Mari-Anne Marijnissen (m. 1976)
Children Lilian (born 1985)
Residence Oss, Netherlands
Occupation Politician
Website (Dutch) Official website

Johannes Guillaume Christianus Andreas "Jan" Marijnissen (   ) (born 8 October 1952) is a Dutch politician of the Socialist Party (SP). He is the Chairman of the Socialist Party since 20 May 1988.

Marijnissen a welder by occupation, was selected as Leader and Chairman of the Socialist Party on 20 May 1988. For the Dutch general election of 1994 Marijnissen was the Lijsttrekker (top candidate) and won two seats in the House of Representatives, the first time the Socialist Party won representation in the States General of the Netherlands. Marijnissen was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives on 17 May 1994 and became the Parliamentary Leader of the Socialist Party in the House of Representatives. For the Dutch general elections of 1998 and 2002 Marijnissen again as Lijsttrekker won three and four seats respectively. For the Dutch general election of 2006 Marijnissen for the fifth time as Lijsttrekker won sixteen seats and the Socialist Party became the third-largest party House of Representatives. On 20 June 2008 Marijnissen announced his retirement as Leader of the Socialist Party and Parliamentary Leader of the Socialist Party in the House of Representatives citing health reasons. Marijnissen remaind a Member of the House of Representatives until after the Dutch general election of 2010 on 17 June 2010.


  • Early life 1
  • Politics 2
    • Local Politics 2.1
    • National Politics 2.2
  • Bibliography 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Johannes Guillaume Christianus Andreas Marijnisse was born on 8 October 1952 in Oss in the Dutch Province of North Brabant in a Roman Catholic family. After leaving secondary school shortly before the exams, he worked in a number of factories in and around Oss. He then trained as a welder, working for ten years in the metal industry.


Local Politics

Meanwhile he helped founding the SP in Oss and, in 1975, became the Netherlands' youngest councillor ever. He remained a councillor until 1993, playing a leading role in many campaigns, such as against polluting discharges. The SP's council representation in Oss has grown at every local election and is, as of 2005, the biggest stronghold of the Socialist Party in the Netherlands. Nicknamed "The Wizard of Oss", after his hometown, he became famous when he turned out to be one of the main architects of the Dutch vote that rejected the European Constitution in June 2005.

In 1987 Marijnissen became the party's first ever provincial assembly member, in North Brabant. A year later he became the SP's national president. Under his leadership the party has been transformed from "a federation of local branches" into a party with a clear national programme, nationally-organised activities and a national profile.

National Politics

Since 1994, when the SP made the breakthrough which brought it into the House of Representatives, Marijnissen has been chairman of the party's parliamentary group. After gaining 2 out of the 150 parliamentary seats during this first breakthrough, support for him and his party has risen slowly but continuously. After 4 years of being in parliament, his Socialist Party went under his lead from 2 to 5 seats during the national elections of 1998, which was followed by a growth towards 9 seats in 2002. In 2003, after the 87 days term of Balkenende I, the Socialist Party didn't manage to gain more seats than the year before and stayed at the same level with again 9 out of 150 seats. Although there was a slight rise in number of people who voted for the SP compared to a year before, a few weeks before the elections the polls suggested the SP might double.

After the 2004 elections a conflict arises between Jan Marijnissen and Ali Lazrak, when the latter refuses to conform to an agreement that requires all SP-politicians to donate part of their wages. Lazrak accused Marijnissen of dictatorial behavior, an attempt to settle the argument fails and Lazrak leaves the fraction on February 2, 2004.

In February 2006 the party was polled on 9.5% of the electorate in the municipal elections. After the untimely end of Balkenende II and the minority government of Balkenende III, the SP won 16 more seats in the 2006 elections to a total of 25, becoming the third party of the Netherlands. Soon after, the party membership passed 50,000.[1]

In 2006 a majority of members of parliament voted for his idea to build a National Historic Museum in the Netherlands. In 2007 the Minister of Culture decided the city Arnhem would be its residence.

On June 17, 2008 Marijnissen announced his resignation as chairman of the SP group in the House of Representatives because of health reasons.[2] However, he remains a member of the House of Representatives and chairman of the Socialist Party.[2]

Marijnissen has been the chairman and leader in the parliament for the SP since 1989. He is said to appeal to the 'common man', because of his use of simple language. His appeal is also explained by some observers by his capacity of presenting himself as a valid, more social alternative for the PvdA, which moved into a more centrist third way direction by advocating welfare reforms under the leadership of prime minister Wim Kok and his so-called Purple Cabinets (1994–2002).

Critics of Marijnissen call his leadership style authoritarian, because he is presumed to have a tight grip on his party. They also disparage his stubborn, traditional leftist defence of the Dutch social security system despite pressures of globalisation. Some critics call Marijnissen a left-wing populist.


  • Samenleven kan je niet alleen (You can't live together alone), SP, (1993). (ISBN 9-0801-7771-7)
  • Tegenstemmen, een rood antwoord op Paars (Voting against, a red answer to Purple), (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 1996). (ISBN 9-0254-0860-5). This book is also available in English under the title Enough! A socialist bites back. In 2006 three new English chapters were added with summaries of conclusion in his latter books. In 2007 the book became available in Greece under the title Αρκετά!. (Athens: Antilogos, 2007). (ISBN 978-960-89490-4-1)
  • Effe Dimmen! Een rebel in Den Haag. (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 1998). (ISBN 9-0204-5766-7).
  • De laatste oorlog: Gesprekken over de nieuwe wereldorde (The last war), (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 2000). (ISBN 9-0204-6022-6). Co-authored with Karel Glastra van Loon. A series of interviews with experts as Lord Carrington, Sir Michael Rose, Hans van den Broek, Noam Chomsky, Rob de Wijk en Georgi Arbatov on international conflicts with special attention to the role of the Dutch in these conflicts.
  • Schrale Rijkdom: De erfenis van acht jaar Paars (Poor Richness), (Ketch-up Press, 2002). (ISBN 9-0771-3301-1).
  • Nieuw Optimisme (New Optimism), (Aspekt, 2003).
  • Hoe dan, Jan (But how, Jan?), (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 2005). Two Dutch journalist wrote a question/ answer style book about how Marijnissen's ideas could become reality.
  • Waar historie huis houdt (Where history lives), (Rap, 2005). In addition to his plea for a National Historic Museum for the Netherlands, Jan Marijnissen reveals his interest in history and the importance of history to a land and its culture.


  1. ^ Jan Marijnissen verwelkomt 50.000ste SP-lid met taart en bloemen. Downloaded November 29, 2005
  2. ^ a b "Cookies op". 

External links

  • (Dutch) J.G.Ch.A. (Jan) Marijnissen Parlement & Politiek
Party political offices
Preceded by
Hans van Hooft
Leader of the Socialist Party
Succeeded by
Agnes Kant
Chairman of the Socialist Party
New creation Parliamentary Leader of the Socialist Party
in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands

Succeeded by
Agnes Kant
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