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Biography Diederik Samsom

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Diederik Samsom Diederik Samsom
Diederik Samsom
Een Nederlands politicus. Fractievoorzitter en politiek leider PvdA sinds 2012. | A Dutch politician. The current party leader of the PvdA.


Diederik Samsom Biography



Diederik Maarten Samsom (Groningen, 10 juli 1971) is een Nederlands politicus. Namens de Partij van de Arbeid maakt hij sinds 2003 deel uit van de Tweede Kamer. Op 16 maart 2012 werd Samsom door de leden van de partij gekozen tot fractievoorzitter en politiek leider.


Na een gymnasiumopleiding in Leeuwarden, studeerde Samsom technische natuurkunde aan de Technische Universiteit Delft. Vervolgens was hij enkele jaren actief als campagneleider en activist bij milieuorganisatie Greenpeace. In 2002 stond hij op de kieslijst van de Partij van de Arbeid voor de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen maar werd hij niet gekozen. Samsom was daarna kortstondig directeur van de groenestroomleverancier Echte Energie, totdat hij bij de verkiezingen in 2003 alsnog in het parlement werd gekozen. Als Kamerlid was Samsom enkele jaren woordvoerder milieubeleid en sinds 2012 is hij woordvoerder asiel en migratie.


Toen Job Cohen in februari 2012 opstapte als politiek leider en fractievoorzitter van de PvdA, stelde Samsom zich kandidaat voor zijn opvolging. In een ledenraadpleging behaalde Samsom 54% van de stemmen en versloeg daarmee vier tegenkandidaten. Bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in 2012 was Samsom de lijsttrekker voor de Partij van de Arbeid; tijdens die verkiezingen haalde hij met zijn partij 38 zetels, waarna Samsom samen met Rutte het kabinet Rutte-II formeerde.


Landelijke politiek

Bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen 2003 kreeg hij een hoge plek op de kandidatenlijst van de PvdA en werd hij direct gekozen in het parlement. Hij was van 2003 tot 2011 woordvoerder milieubeleid en is sinds 2012 de woordvoerder asiel en migratie. Verder heeft Samsom zich als Kamerlid beziggehouden met energiebeleid, infrastructuur en ontwikkelingssamenwerking.


Tweede Kamerverkiezingen 2012

Samsom was lijsttrekker voor de PvdA bij de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen in 2012. Zijn partij behaalde 38 zetels. Dat waren er acht meer dan bij de voorlaatste verkiezingen maar net niet genoeg om de grootste partij van Nederland te worden. Dat werd de VVD met 41 zetels. De ruime zetelwinst voor de PvdA was opmerkelijk, aangezien de partij enkele weken vooraf aan de verkiezingen in de peilingen op minder dan twintig zetels stond. Het uiteindelijke hoge zetelaantal werd door de media op het conto geschreven van Samsom. Volgens de pers en een meerderheid van de tv-kijkers presenteerde Samsom zich als beste tijdens de lijsttrekkersdebatten.







Diederik Maarten Samsom (born July 10, 1971) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid) he has been an MP since January 30, 2003. He is the party's spokesperson on environmental issues. On March 16, 2012 he was elected parliamentary leader as well as party leader. Before his election to parliament he was CEO of a green energy company and a campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands.


Early life

Samsom was born in Groningen and raised in Leeuwarden. His father worked as an internist and his mother as a physiotherapist. Between 1983 and 1989, he attended the Municipal Gymnasium (Dutch: Stedelijk Gymnasium) in Leeuwarden. There he became interested in physics, so he went on to study Applied Physics (Dutch: "Technische Natuurkunde") at Delft University of Technology. Samsom specialised in nuclear physics and became a level three radiation expert. He graduated in May 1997, obtaining a Dutch Engineer's degree (In Dutch: Ingenieur). He was also on the board of the National Students' Union LSVb and edited a yearly edition of the Poenboek, a students' guide concerning monetary issues.


Personal life

Samsom was raised in a non-religious family and considers himself an atheist. He is a non smoker and observes a vegetarian diet. He cites swimming and water polo as his favourite sports. Samsom is married and has two children. His daughter Benthe was born in 2001 and his son Fane was born in 2006. Samsom mentioned them in several political debates and interviews in a for the Netherlands unprecedented and criticized way, including drawing attention to his daughter's disability. He also involved his private life and family in his "American style" 2012 electoral campaign, most notably by featuring his two children in an official party TV ad.


Samsom lived on a houseboat in Broek in Waterland with his then girlfriend and daughter before moving to Leiden, where he still resides as of 2012. In a 2012 interview with Marie Claire Samsom admitted he had committed adultery "perhaps one or two times". He also admitted to vanity and stated he misses his former luscious curls a great deal now that he has grown almost completely bald.


Poltical career

Samsom became a member of the social democratic Labour party while a student in Delft. He left the party but rejoined in February 2001. He stood as a candidate in the 2002 Dutch general election, but he was not elected due to the PvdA losing almost half of its seats in the election. The party regained most of its seats in the 2003 election and this time Samsom was given a high position (nine) on the list of candidates. He was subsequently sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives on January 30, 2003.


Samsom is the Labour party's spokesperson on environmental issues: sustainability, climate and energy, traffic congestion and railway issues and projects. He was nineteenth on the list of candidates in the 2006 Dutch general elections and he received a high number of 6248 preference votes. In April 2008, Samsom was a candidate for succeeding Jacques Tichelaar as fractievoorzitter, but eventually he lost the vote to Mariëtte Hamer.


On February 22, 2012, following Job Cohen's resignation as party leader, Samsom stood in the party's leadership election, which was held among the party members. On March 16, 2012, he won the election by a landslide with 54% of the vote, with the runner-up Ronald Plasterk receiving 32% of the vote. Samsom stated he would like to become prime minister, or otherwise continue his role of chairman of his party in the House of Representatives.




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