Lieve Truyman is the new vice-chairman at N-VA. The 41-year-old alderman from Temse made it to the party council on Saturday with 54 percent of the votes of Flemish MP Maaike De Vreese. Truyman succeeds Valerie Van Peel as vice-chairman, who announced her retirement in June. Truyman and Steven Vandeput form the new vice-chairman duo at N-VA.
The party council of N-VA voted on Saturday about the succession of Valerie Van Peel as vice-chairman of the party. The council could choose between Maaike De Vreese, the 38-year-old Flemish MP from Bruges, and Lieve Truyman, the 41-year-old first alderman from Temse in East Flanders. Due to a statutory minimum in the party board, only women could run for office.
De Vreese was Van Peel’s most likely successor. She could count on the support of the entourage and supporters of Theo Francken, of Flemish minister Ben Weyts and on votes from her own province. The hoped-for election of De Vreese should also make the N-VA stronger in Bruges, where the party has been struggling for years with internal struggles and disappointing results.
But the more than 200-member party council of the N-VA did not follow the unspoken advice of the party top and decided with 54% of the vote to make Lieve Truyman vice-chairman of the party. The party council of the N-VA, which consists of representatives but mainly of local volunteers, has shown itself notoriously recalcitrant in the past, especially towards prior agreements within the party leadership.
What may also have played a role on Saturday is that De Vreese herself was not present because she is in the United States for a course. She therefore defended her candidacy via a video message. Truyman, for her part, emphasized the local anchoring of the party in her speech.
Ships in Temse
Truyman has been N-VA ships in Temse for ten years. She taught at the VTS in Sint-Niklaas for a number of years and then switched to the banking sector. After the municipal elections in 2012, Truyman became alderman in Temse. She may not be known to the general public, but within the party she has been active on the party council and as chair of the supervisory committee since 2014. Truyman is married and is the mother of three children.
For De Vreese it is the second time that she has lost out in the elections as vice-chairman. Earlier this year, she also had to give up against Steven Vandeput, then in succession to Lorin Parys.
The two vice-chairmen of the Flemish nationalists, together with chairman Bart De Wever and director Piet De Zaeger, form the cockpit of the party, which sets out the most important political lines every week. Given De Wever’s crowded agenda, the vice-chairmanship of the N-VA weighs more heavily than with most other parties.
Like De Wever and the rest of the executive board, Lieve Truyman has a mandate until the beginning of 2025.