The Netherlands’ longest-serving MP, SGP leader Kees van der Staaij, has become the latest party leader to say they are stepping down at the November general election.
Van der Staaij was first elected as an MP for the fundamentalist Protestant party at the age of 29, 25 years ago. In 2010 he replaced Bas van der Vlies as party leader and is now handing over the reins to Chris Stoffer.
Stoffer, who used to work for the transport ministry’s roads department, has been an MP for five years.
There are currently three SGP parliamentarians, a total that has remained fairly constant for years.
The SGP believes the Netherlands should be governed according to Biblical principles and is a staunch opponent of abortion and euthanasia. The party also wants tougher immigration controls. Its website goes offline on Sundays.
In 2012 the SGP was ordered by the Dutch supreme court and European Court of Human Rights to give women the right to stand as MPs and councillors which it did the following year.
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