Fmr Labour leader leaves parliament to standing ovation
Former PvdA leader Diederik Samsom said goodbye to Dutch parliament on Tuesday. He left the Tweede Kamer to loud applause, with many parliamentarians standing on their feet, NOS reports.
Samsom is leaving after he lost the election for PvdA leader to current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher. Kamer president Khadija Arib read his farewell letter to the parliamentarians.
Samsom wrote that he is disappointed and sad, but mostly thankful for the 15 years that he was able to serve in Hague politics. "That is not a right but a privelage." He also addressed Prime Minister Mark Rutte, with whom he's been working very closely together since the formation of the PvdA-VVD coalition in 2012. According to Samsom, the cooperation between the two of them worked so well because of a rare combination of maximum disagreement and maximum confidence.
The former PvdA leader finally said that he is removing the "restricting Hague corset" with some relief and that he will stay out of politics for the time being.
Kamer President Arib called Samsom's departure an emotional goodbye. She praised him for his enthusiasm, intelligence, boundless energy and perseverance. Arib called Samsom a fighter, who has a great future ahead of him.
After leaving the Tweede Kamer, Rutte said that he and Samosm disagreed on many fronts over the past four years, but never once was he cheated by him. "An agreement with him is an agreement. In politics at least that is very important, but even more so in such a complicated coalition in which two parties two parties that actually have nothing in common, have to work together." Rutte said. "He is incredibly passionate; the country has a very good politician in him."