PvdA leader Attje Kuiken calls it “painful” that MP Khadija Arib felt too little support from the group after it became known that an investigation is being conducted into her behavior as President of Parliament.
In an email to all members of the party, Kuiken writes that “in all honesty, the past few days it has sometimes been a struggle to shape that. But given her letter, we have failed to do so sufficiently. That‘s what I care about.”
Arib decided to resign as a Member of Parliament last night. She sees the investigation as a dagger stab in the back of her successor as chairman, D66 member Vera Bergkamp. Arib had to hear from a journalist at NRC Handelsblad that an external investigation into her is being launched.
In the statement announcing her departure, Arib also wrote that she does not feel sufficiently supported by the PvdA group. Her group member in the presidency, the executive board of the House of Representatives, Henk Nijboer, agreed to the investigation.
When several MPs asked for clarification from chairman Bergkamp and the presidency in a letter, there were no PvdA members. Kuiken said earlier that she thought it would be purer if other parties asked for clarification.
Dejection and dismay
According to Kuiken, there is indeed support for Arib within the group and the party, both before and behind the scenes. “Khadija has an impressive track record. The message touches us deeply and leaves us with a mixture of dismay and dismay.”
In her mail, the PvdA leader writes that the party and group immediately distanced themselves from the state of affairs surrounding the investigation. “For example, we were the first to demand an explanation from President of Parliament Vera Bergkamp, who is responsible for orderly and confidential procedures.”
Kuiken was supposed to sit down with Arib yesterday to discuss the issue. “Before we were able to do this, Khadija decided she can’t move on.”
The whole thing needs to be “to the bottom”, says Kuiken. “For us, a lot of questions are still right. How can it happen that, as a former chairman, she is now publicly in the line of fire of allegations she does not know?”
She also wants to know why no careful procedure has been followed and how it is possible that the presidency has leaked to the press.
President of Parliament Bergkamp will report the leak tomorrow.