Femke Halsema, departing leader of the left-wing green party GroenLinks, called for more parliamentary immunity in a farewell letter to MPs. The letter was read out on Tuesday afternoon in parliament.
Halsema, who said last year she is quitting politics because ‘her time has come’, said the language of parliament has changed in the 12 years she has been an MP.
It is sometimes shrill but also straightforward, emphasising differences. She would rather that, she said, than a parliament that is incomprehensible to voters.
‘Much better to have strong emotions, uproar and rough customs than the handshakes and self-satisfaction of a gentlemen’s club,’ she wrote.
The call for more immunity is partly a reference to the court case against PVV leader Gert Wilders, who is being tried for things he said outside parliament.
According to Halsema, the differences in society can be dealt with if there is more room for unacceptable ideas.
For this reason, parliament should think about extending the rules on parliamentary immunity. MPs should be protected even when their views upset others, Halsema said.
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