State Secretaries Still Gone as MP

Secretary of State Yesilgöz, Wiersma and Van Weyenberg give up their office. In a letter to Chamber President Bergkamp, they refer to the opinion of the Council of State yesterday.

The three were elected to the House of Representatives in March. When they were later appointed Secretary of State in the demissionary Cabinet, they continued to combine those positions.

The question of whether or not that combination should be constitutional, arose a lot of debate. The Chamber asked the State Council for advice on that. He concluded yesterday that there is “insufficient ground to find that there is a conflict with the Constitution”, but the Council also called the state of affairs unhappy. According to the opinion, the “constitutional complications of the appointments do not appear to have been recognized in a timely manner and not sufficiently thoroughly”.

Fundamental Question

The Council believes that it is up to the House of Representatives and not the Cabinet to decide on this, “because only the House of Representatives is about membership of the House”.

Yesilgöz, Wiersma and Van Weyenberg write that the advice leads them to give up their office immediately. They call the Board of State piece balanced. The House should then hold a debate on “the fundamental question of joining MPs to a demissionary cabinet” rather than the individual appointment of the three.

The three will remain as Secretary of State. VVD‘er Yesilgöz has been Secretary of State for Economic Affairs since 25 May. Wiersma (also VVD) has been an executive in Social Affairs and Employment since 10 August, D66’er Van Weyenberg occupies the State Secretariat for Infrastructure and Water Management since 10 August.

In the Chamber, the seats of Yesilgöz, Wiersma and Van Weyenberg will soon be occupied by three others.