Political parties vow better screening of potential parliamentarians

Political parties will be stricter in screening potential parliamentarians for the upcoming elections, numerous parties told newspaper AD. They hope to avoid the numerous split offs and scandals that occurred in the current parliament.

During this current term in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, seven parliamentarians split from their parties, four resigned due to misconduct and another two because they did not agree with the party's stance. The political parties want to avoid such problems in the next term.

The VVD, for example, will in future demand that potential parliamentarians submit a certificate of good behavior. "It is of utmost importance that people who become a representative for the people for the VVD are beyond all doubt", VVD chairman Henry Keizer said to the newspaper, adding that VVD MP's who want to stay on will also have to submit such a certificate.

The PvdA already requires a certificate of good behavior. In addition to that, the party now requires that candidate parliamentarians collect 100 signatures from within the PvdA, to show they have sufficient support within the party. Candidates also have to follow a training program on what being a parliamentarian means. "The Tweede Kamer is not a place to learn the job" Max van den Berg, chairman of the candidates committee, said to the newspaper.

The SP is appointing an adviser to assist the candidates committee. The CDA established three man teams to advise the committee. They will consist of a current or former parliamentarian, a CDA director and someone who understands personnel issues. The PvdA, SP and CDA also require their candidate MP's to sign a declaration stating that parliamentarians should serve their entire term.

GroenLinks and the D66 do not plan on implementing stricter rules for candidate parliamentarians. The PVV would not comment on their screening process.