From 13.00 it is a bit of a party in the House of Representatives. A total of 59 new MPs take place for the first time on their blue seat, on the table in front of them lies a bunch of flowers. They were elected in the 17 March elections.
Today they take the oath or the promise, together with the MPs who were already in parliament. And then there are nine people who were not in the previous Chamber, but rather they were. This is, for example, Prime Minister Rutte and Minister Schouten for Agriculture.
Because of corona, the swearing-in occurs in three groups of fifty people. Otherwise, family members and friends may only be limited to this time. The public has not been welcome in debates in the plenary hall of the Chamber building for a while.
It goes too far to introduce all 59 newcomers, but with a few striking ones we do that anyway. For example, there are two new MPs who have been elected with preferential votes. They have had enough voters behind them to avoid any party members who were higher on the list. And thats pretty good, if youre not already in the House of Representatives or are regularly on the news.
59 new MPs is quite a lot. The last time the peoples representation changed so drastically was in 2002, when 26 new MPs came into the Chamber from the list of Pim Fortuyn (LPF) alone.
Following these elections, the number of women and people with a migration background in the Chamber increased. Also, more and more parliamentarians come from the Randstad, analyzed the Parliamentary Documentation Centre (PDC). What has remained about the same is the average age of the MPs: around 44 years. But who is the youngest newcomer and who is the oldest?
Approximately 35 percent of new MPs have a background in business, but according to the PDC, the trend continues that more and more MPs already have experience in public administration or politics, such as the City Council or Provincial States.
However, many newcomers also have a special history, experiences that they can take with them in their new job:
Anyway, today is a solemn moment for the 150 MPs when they take the oath or promise. In full it reads:
“ I swear (declare) that, in order to be appointed a member of the States General, I have given or promised any gift or favor directly or indirectly under any name or pretext. I swear (declare and promise) that, in order to do or leave anything in this office, I have not taken or will accept any promise either directly or indirectly. I pledge (pledge) allegiance to the King, to the Statute for the Kingdom and to the Constitution. I swear that I will faithfully perform the duties which my office imposes.”
Then it will sound: “I promise” or “so help me God almighty”. In the latter case, the intention is that the Member of the Chamber should raise the two front fingers of his right hand contiguously, so it is stated in the regulations.