Former President Arib (PvdA) leaves House of Representatives after ‘attacks on dignity’

Former President Khadija Arib leaves the House of Representatives, she announces on Twitter. Last week, NRC leaked that the presidency was investigating Arib for cross-border behavior. She immediately spoke of a dagger sting by current President of Parliament Bergkamp.

Arib says that as a representative of the people, she has experienced a lot over the past 24 years, but never as much as in the past 48 hours. โ€œI‘m used to a lot, but the (anonymous) dagger punches of the last few days have meant that I no longer want to stay on as a Member of Parliament. I am willing to put up with a lot, but every person has their limit. These are attacks on my dignity.โ€

PvdA party leader Kuiken says she was โ€œtotally overwhelmedโ€ by Arib’s decision. โ€œIt hurts me personally and the PvdA group as a whole a lot,โ€ she writes. In recent days, the PvdA has tried to get in touch with Arib, but that has not been successful, says a spokesperson.

Research presidency

NRC unveiled the external investigation into Arib on Wednesday, before it was aware of the presidency‘s intention. The reason was two anonymous letters accusing her of โ€œabuse of powerโ€ and a โ€œreign of terrorโ€. Arib immediately reacted furiously and stated that the President of Parliament and President of the Presidium Vera Bergkamp threw her โ€œon the busโ€.

Arib indicated that he was not cooperating with the investigation. She spoke of a smear campaign and a political reckoning. According to Arib, Bergkamp has been actively seeking complaints since Arib’s election as chairman of the Temporary Corona Committee, which is preparing the parliamentary survey on the corona policy.

Bergkamp informs DecceIT that she is not responding to Arib tonight. Tomorrow there will be a statement from the Presidium of the House of Representatives, of which Bergkamp, as President of Parliament, is also chairman.

In the letter announcing her departure, Arib thanks MPs Leijten, Omtzigt, Marijnissen, Ouwehand, Van der Plas and Pouw-Verweij. They urged the presidency to clarify the issue, and issued an ultimatum: no later than Monday at 13.00, Bergkamp and the Executive Board of the House had to provide clarity.

Arib states in her letter that it was hard for her that her own group members from the PvdA were missing under that letter with the ultimatum. โ€œThe latter contributed to my decision.โ€

In her response to Arib‘s departure, group chairman Kuiken responds to this. She says that the group did not sign the letter to President Bergkamp โ€œbecause we thought it was stronger and purer if other groups raised thisโ€. โ€œWe did, however, indicate to Khadija and the signatories of the letter that they support its content.โ€

Kuiken calls it very important that the matter is sorted to the bottom. She also wants the leak of confidential information to be reported.

Leaving the Chamber prematurely

In her time as President of Parliament, Arib regularly ruled harshly about MPs who left the House of Representatives prematurely for another job. She also refers to that in her letter. โ€œI have always adhered to the principle that a Member of Parliament must complete her term. You were chosen by the voter and you handle that mandate very carefully,โ€ she writes.

โ€œI therefore never doubted to continue in the House after the disastrous defeat of the previous parliamentary elections or after the state of affairs surrounding the parliamentary presidential election. I can’t keep that promise anymore,โ€ she concludes now. โ€œThe work as a representative and chairman of the temporary corona survey has simply been made impossible for me due to the dysfunction of the presidency.โ€

Arib asks her constituents to understand โ€œthe most difficult decision of my long careerโ€. She says she no longer feels free and safe and says she can no longer continue her work as a representative of the people.