Parliamentary chairwoman to quit at November election

Vera Bergkamp. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vera Bergkamp, the much-criticised chairwoman of the lower house of parliament, is bowing out of politics at the November election.

Bergkamp, who has been an MP on behalf of D66 for 11 years, said on social media that with a “new political phase in the making” it is time for her to do something different. 

Bergkamp has been chairwoman of the lower house of the Dutch parliament since 2021, after beating sitting chairwoman Khadija Arib (PvdA) and deputy chairman Martin Bosma from the anti-Islam PVV in a vote.

Her tenure has not been without problems. She is currently still embroiled in a row about an investigation she launched into Arib, after several anonymous complaints were made about Arib’s treatment of parliamentary support staff. 

She has also been criticised for failing to keep order in parliament on several occasions, particularly when the far right were attacking other MPs. 

Meanwhile, CDA parliamentarian and former television presenter Lucille Werner has also said she is standing down.

Werner, who used to present the popular word game Lingo, has been an MP since 2021 and has campaigns for the rights of people with disabilities. 

Her departure means five of the 14 CDA MPs elected in March 2021 are leaving at the November general election. 

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