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Said goodbye to 80 MPs, including the nestor and the chairman

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“There’s a time to come, there’s a time to go. And for us, it’s over.” With these words, outgoing nestor Kees van der Staaij concluded his membership of the House of Representatives this afternoon. The House met for the last time in its old composition today and in addition to the SGP leader, 79 MPs left.

Chamber President Vera Bergkamp, ​​who was also present for the last time, had words of praise for her fellow leavers. Sylvana Simons, who is leaving the House after two years, was praised for her passion.

“You were ready for battle and we knew that,” said Bergkamp, ​​who recalled Simons’ commitment to the slavery apology. “You made history.” Simons received a long round of applause from the House.

Time span that inspires awe

In addition to the former Bij1 leader, several other former party chairmen are leaving the House of Representatives, including two from Denk. Farid Azarkan was complimented for his commitment to benefit parents and his “strong, clear language”. Tunuhan Kuzu was qualified as “outspoken and direct”.

CDA member Pieter Heerma was called “courteous, open and reliable” by Bergkamp, ​​Attje Kuiken (PvdA) “above all, a pleasant person”, but Bergkamp spent the longest time thinking about the longest-serving MP. “25 years is a span of time that in itself awes,” she told Van der Staaij, who she said has made an “indelible impression” “as a parliamentarian who stands up for the public interest.”

Night and dawn

The floor then went to the former SGP leader himself, who, as the longest-serving MP, will be succeeded by PVV leader Geert Wilders. Van der Staaij thanked outgoing Chamber President Bergkamp for her “commitment in a turbulent time”. “I was impressed by how you worked night and day to see how things could be improved.”

Van der Staaij also had a tip for the new MPs: listen to each other and to people in the country. “Drinking cups of coffee together is also part of democracy.” And he called on them “to highlight the craft side of Chamber membership”. Van der Staaij received a standing ovation from his colleagues.

Lots of nice words back and forth, but not everyone was satisfied with the qualifications they received. For example, outgoing PVV MP Harm Beertema was told by Bergkamp that he had previously been a communist, but that was not true, he showed in words and gestures. A little later, Bergkamp corrected: she blamed the mistake on incorrect information on Wikipedia.

Eighteen MPs, including Kuiken and Beertema, received a decoration in the order of Orange-Nassau from the chairman. Who was later also presented with a royal decoration by Deputy Prime Minister Karien van Gennip.

Tomorrow the new House of Representatives will be installed, with eighty new members. A temporary chairman is therefore appointed. Bergkamp’s real successor will probably be chosen by the new House a week later.

2023-12-05 15:35:11
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