Font Size


Menu Style


Geert Wilders's party objects to Dutch-Moroccan candidate to chair Dutch Parliament

The Freedom Party (PVV) has objected to one of the candidates to chair the Dutch Parliament because she has dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality.

Khadija Arib moved to the Netherlands at the age of 15 and has been an MP for 14 years.‘The Netherlands cannot have a Moroccan chairing its Parliament,’ said Louis Bontes, one of 15 members of Geert Wilders’s party, during a debate on Tuesday.

Khadija Arib, the Labour Party’s (PvdA) nominee, eventually lost the vote to Liberal (VVD) member Anouchka van Miltenburg. They were competing to succeed Gerdi Verbeet, another female Labour MP, who has held the job for the last six years.

Labour MP Pierre Heijen criticised the PVV’s stance. ‘You can be Dutch regardless of where you come from. It’s about what you put in,’ he said, prompting fellow MPs to slap the Parliament benches in approval.

Arib, 51, has been an MP since 1998, with a three-month break following the 2006 election. She moved to the Netherlands at the age of 15, having grown up near Casablanca.

The Freedom Party has been critical of Arib in the past after it emerge she had had an advisory role with the Moroccan government. Wilders also derided the PvdA as the ‘Party of the Arabs’ in a live debate during last month’s election campaign.

In the past Arib has been branded ‘subversive’ by the Moroccan hierarchy and spent several days in prison with her children for taking a stand on women’s rights in the north African country.

The PVV, which will be the largest opposition party if Labour and the Liberals form the new government, has campaigned fiercely to end dual nationality for Dutch passport holders.

The move was included in the supporting agreement which Geert Wilders’s party signed to give Mark Rutte’s centre-right cabinet a working majority in Parliament.

Following the collapse of the government it was quickly scrapped, along with several other PVV projects including the 500 so-called ‘animal cops’.