Van Woerkom appointed ombudsman

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The Second Chamber has officially appointed Guido van Woerkom as National Ombudsman today.

Van Woerkom whose candidacy caused some raised eyebrows considering his loaded statements about Moroccans, got 91 of the 102 votes that were cast. Current ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeijer received nine votes; 42 chamber members abstained from voting.

The Second Chamber members cast paper votes -instead of verbally- at the request of GroenLinks, which said Van Moerkom's statement about Moroccans could hinder his appointment.

In 2010, Van Woerkom (59, VVD) said at a congress that he would rather his wife not take a taxi, because “a Moroccan could be behind the wheel every now and then.” He apologized for the remark, and has considered the matter over, as his apology was accepted. His candidacy has nonetheless been met with severe political reservations.

An Elsevier report following his appointment quoted several parliamentarians who still thought he was not the right man for the job. "An ombudsman should have a blank slate," said Joel Voordewind (ChristenUnie ). BUt there were also others who expressed support; PvdA leader Diederik Samsom said "democracy has worked. The ombudsman has been chosen and he dserves our fill support."


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