Vera Bergkamp has been elected as the new chairman of the House of Representatives. In the first and only ballot, the D66 obtained 74 of the 139 votes validly cast. She defeated her opponents Khadija Arib (PvdA, who was president since 2016, 38 votes) and Martin Bosma (PVV, 27 votes).
The vote was written: that means that all MPs had to write a note with a name on a bus. Because of the corona measures, the vote took place in three groups of fifty.
Immediately after the vote, she took her seat in the chair:
Bergkamp finds her new position a great honour and responsibility. She thanked a number of people, including her predecessor Arib, who she called a “highly valued chairman”.
Other MPs also praised Arib, who unexpectedly saw a second term as chairman in the first ballot.
Bergkamp said after her election that she is not there on behalf of D66, but that she wants to be there for all MPs. “We are facing a huge challenge,” she stressed. She referred to the Allowances affair, the recent investigation into executive organizations, the relocation of the Chamber, the coronacrisis and the fact that 17 fractions are in the new Chamber.
Earlier today, there was a debate for hours in which all the groups were able to ask questions to the candidates. Almost everyone argued for more dualism (a clearer separation between the government that governs and the parliament that controls).
The debate included the question of whether or not agreements were reached in the formation on the Presidency of Bergkamp. She herself denied that and VVD and CDA also contradicted that.
Bergkamp described himself in the debate as someone who emphasizes what connects people and who has an eye for minorities. She is also tenacious, according to her own words. She stressed that, even before she came to the Chamber, she often chaired meetings. “And the Chairman of the Chamber is Champions League.”