D66 stalwart Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is latest MP to quit politics

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma in debate earlier this year. Photo: Bart Maat ANP

Prominent D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is leaving parliament after the November general election. Sjoerdsma, who has been an MP for 11 years, is the latest in a string of big names who are quitting politics in The Hague.

A former diplomat, he specialised in foreign policy and was a strong supporter of dual nationality rights.

Sjoerdsma did not give a clear reason for his decision. “I am leaving parliament as an optimist,” he said in a two-page letter released via social media. 

“Nevertheless, it is important to realise that our democracy is not without vulnerabilities,” he wrote. “The anti-democratic extreme right wingers in our parliament … are the concrete rot in our democratic foundations.”

Sjoerdsma is one of the MPs threatened with “tribunals” by the far-right Forum voor Democratie.

Meanwhile, Annabel Nanninga, who is a former member of FvD but left as the party lurched to the far right, has confirmed her intentions to run for parliament on behalf of JA21, the party she helped found.

Nanninga is currently a councillor in Amsterdam and represents JA21 in the senate. She will have to give up at least her senate job if elected to parliament. 

Two of the three current JA21 MPs have said they will not stand for election for the party again. 

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