Both the president of the Senate and that of the House of Representatives intervened this week when the word ‘tribunal’ was heard. This happened on Wednesday with statements by the PVV in the House of Representatives. When discussing the budget of Justice and Security, parliamentarian Gidi Markuszower (PVV) spoke of the migration policy as “a major crime against the Dutch people”. Anyone who supports current immigration policies, including MPs, should be brought before a tribunal, he said. Chairman Vera Bergkamp then turned off the sound of his microphone.
Markuszower said he had not threatened anyone and referred to parties that have previously argued for a tribunal in the House. Bergkamp then cut him off again, because the word is “intimidating”, she later said.
A line was also drawn in the Senate this week with the word tribunal. Senate President Jan Anthonie Bruijn intervened on Tuesday when Henk Otten (Otten faction) and later the PVV spoke about tribunals. According to the chairman, that word has “a metaphorical association with the Second World War” and does not belong in the conference room. He was complimented by Otten: “You act better than your colleague in the House of Representatives.”
Outrage in Room
Last week, a debate in the House of Representatives was briefly suspended after FVD MP Pepijn van Houwelingen said to Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66) because of the corona policy: “Your time will come, because there will be tribunals.” Sjoerdsma and other MPs reacted indignantly and regarded this comment as a threat. As a result of this incident, Bergkamp said he would enter into discussions with the group leaders about the manners in the House.
It is not only the threat of tribunals that irritates Bergkamp. On Wednesday she interrupted MP Gideon van Meijeren (FVD) after he called the corona policy “criminal”. Van Meijeren stated that “under false pretenses, they knowingly and willingly have the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens” [worden] taken away”. According to him, this includes “treason, culpable homicide and in the worst case even mass murder”. The chairman intervened. “I will not allow you to call my colleagues criminal and use even bigger words.”
On Thursday the House will discuss the budget of Justice and Security and the outgoing ministers Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Security, CDA) and Sander Dekker (Legal Protection, VVD), and outgoing State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol (Asiel, VVD) will ask reply.
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