Opposition angry about Iraq commission

Opposition MPs from across the political spectrum say they are not satisfied with the government’s decision set up a special commission to investigate Dutch political support for the Iraq war.

Instead they want a full parliamentary inquiry which can hear witnesses under oath.
And they are furious that prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende is referring all questions on the affair directly to the commission rather than answering them through the normal parliamentary channels.
On Monday Balkenende bowed to increasing political pressure and set up an independent commission to investigate the Dutch government’s support for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
‘This is obstructing democracy,’ said Socialist party leader Agnes Kant.
The commission will ‘raise more questions than it answers,’ said Alexander Pechtold, leader of the liberal democrat D66 party.
The commission will be led by former high court judge Willibrord Davids and its task is to look into the cabinet’s decision-making process between the summer of 2002 and the summer of 2003.
The commission will have access to all relevant documents including those of the intelligence, security and defence departments.
The decision to set up a commission follows years of rumour, political leaks and media revelations about the way the Netherlands reached its decision to give political, rather than military, support to the US invasion.
Is this inquiry a good thing or does it not go far enough? To take part in our poll, click here

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