Socialist MP quits: blames not being able to combine parliament with motherhood

The setting for today's debate
Image of Dutch parliament. Photo: Sisyfus via Wikimedia

A Socialist Party MP is leaving parliament because she does not feel she can combine her work as a parliamentarian with being a mother.

Nine Kooiman, 37, has been an MP for nearly eight years and had her first child last year.

‘I realise that I am finding it hard to balance motherhood with being an MP and that means I cannot be the MP I would like to be,’ Kooiman said in a statement. ‘It was a difficult choice but eventually I decided to leave parliament this week.’

Kooiman, who is the party’s spokeswoman on healthcare, will be replaced by Henk van Gerven.

‘I cannot sit still so I will be back in a new job, but then working with people full-time. That is where I think I feel most at home,’ she told the AD.

It is unclear if she will claim wachtgeld, the special jobless benefit for MPs while looking for a new job. Ministers and MPs are entitled to 80% of their salary for one year. Subsequent payments which can last several years are made at 70% rate.

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