Former MP Ina Brouwer on (73) comeback: “It’s a democratic duty”

Ina Brouwer and partner at an awards ceremony earlier this year. ANP/Hollandse Hoogte/MMP Mischa Schoemaker

Younger MPs may be leaving in droves, but former MP Ina Brouwer (73) wants to return to parliament as a candidate for the combined PvdA/GroenLinks coalition.

Brouwer, who is a lawyer, was an MP for the CPN Communist party from 1981 to 1994 and then for GroenLinks which she headed with Mohammed Rabbae. She left politics when the party failed to make an impact in the 1994 elections.

Brouwer told the Volkskrant she has always supported a broad, left-wing movement, with “space for different perspectives, such as the environment and social reform.” Brouwer said she is a member of both the PvdA and GroenLinks.

Her experience and network may be of use to the parties, she said. “Being an MP is not a career move but a democratic duty. You have to do it at a moment in your life when you have something to say,” she told the paper.

Brouwer’s decision comes as many MPs are withdrawing from politics. So far at least 19 of the 150 MPs in the Dutch lower house of parliament have announced that they will not stand for election in the November 2023 vote and experts are concerned about the impact on the way the Tweede Kamer functions.

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