Chairwoman of parliament criticised for steering debates

Criticism is mounting of the performance of parliamentary chairwoman Anouchka van Miltenburg, BNR radio said on Friday.

On Thursday evening, Van Miltenburg was criticised by Christian Democrat leader Sybrand Buma, who accused her of trying to steer a debate. That was an unprecedented move, commentators said afterwards.

Van Miltenburg apologised for any perceived lack of independence and suspended the debate for a time.

‘I felt my integrity was under attack,’ BNR quoted her as saying. ‘I did what very many women do when something happens. I went away and cried.’

The criticism was not confined to yesterday’s debate, BNR said. In addition, the parliamentary presidium, which oversees the day-to-day running of the lower house, is also critical of her performance, the broadcaster said. Van Miltenburg is chair of that committee as well.

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