Labour MP elected parliamentary chairman

The relatively unknown Labour (PvdA) MP Gerdi Verbeet has been elected by MPs as their new parliamentary chairman, winning 78 votes in a third round of voting last night. Christian Democrat education minister Maria van der Hoeven was runner up with 66 votes. The third candidate, defence minister Henk Kamp (Liberal), was the first to be defeated.

Verbeet told the Volkskrant that her new job is ‘a dream come true’ and said her most important task will be to ensure parliamentary questions are properly answered. ‘The chairman must intervene if a minister doesn’t answer parliamentary questions, it’s either got to be yes, no, or I don’t know,’ she said.
Reactions to Verbeet’s selection have been reserved. Some political observers fear she does not have the political weight for the job.
Verbeet (55) has been an MP for five years and was advisor of former Labour leader Ad Melkert. Before entering politics she was a secondary school teacher in Amsterdam.
As well as presiding over parliamentary debates, Verbeet will be one of the Queen’s three regular advisors.

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