Parliament was in crisis today after MPs passed a motion of censure against the controversial immigration minister Rita Verdonk because of her refusal to carry out parliament’s wishes and suspend the deportation of long term asylum seekers until a new cabinet is formed. It remained unclear on Wednesday whether Verdonk would resign as a result of the motion.
By 4pm, the cabinet was still in a crisis meeting to discuss the situation. The defence and development aid ministers, Henk Kamp and van Ardenne, were recalled from Afghanistan for the emergency talks.
Throughout the day, there was speculation that all the ministers in Verdonk’s Liberal (VVD) party would step down, followed possibly by the Christian Democrat ministers. The CDA and VVD currently form a minority caretaker cabinet while a new coalition government is being formed.
On Tuesday evening Verdonk told MPs that she planned to resume deporting failed asylum seekers immediately, despite the fact that a majority of MPs have voted for a temporary amnesty.
Verdonk had suspended deportations for a few days pending last night’s parliamentary debate. She argued that it would be wrong for the caretaker cabinet to change its policy on refugees. It would, she said, be offering ‘false hope’ to asylum seekers.
She stressed her decision had the backing of both her own VVD party and the CDA.
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