Over 40 Dutch MPs resign; most of any cabinet since 1981

Tweede_kamer Sisyfus Wikimedia commons

A total of 42 Dutch parliamentarians resigned since the previous election in 2012. That is the most of any cabinet since 1981, the Financieele Dagblad reports based on data from the Parliamentary Documentation Center of Leiden University. On average 35 parliamentarians resign during a typical four year term of government. 

During this term parliamentarians resigned for various reasons including losing leadership of their party, finding a better jog, integrity issues and health reasons. Some parliamentarians faced critique for their departure, others' decision to resign were met with understanding.

A number of party leaders resigned before their term was up during this governing period, starting with Jolande Sap of GroenLinks. She resigned shortly after the 2012 election against her will. Her party faced a dramatic defeat in the election and she could not win back their trust. Her successor, Bram van Ojik, stepped down in 2015 to make way for the "new generation" in te form of current leader Jesse Klaver. ChristenUnie leader Arie Slob resigned and is now director of the Historical Center Overijssel in Zwolle. And PvdA leader Diederik Samsom resigned earlier this month after losing the election for party leadership to Lodewijk Asscher.

Parliamentarians who resigned over health issues or old age include SP MPs Manja Smits and Jan de Wit and D66 MP Magda Berndsen-Jansen.

VVD parliamentarian Bart de Liefde caused quite an uproar when he resigned to go work as a lobbyist for Uber - he made his favor for the American company clear several times while working on the competition portfolio in the Kamer. Though his departure did have a bright side, as he made no claim on redundancy pay. D66 MP Gerard Schouw and VVD MP Anne-Wil Lucas also left for another, better paying job and thus received no redundancy pay.

The same is not true for VVD MP Mark Verheijen, who resigned in 2015 after an integrity scandal. Verheijen will get redundancy pay until he gets a better paid job, or for the same amount of time he spent in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. In his case it was 2.5 years. The same goes for D66 MP Wassila Hachchi who left to volunteer in Hilary Clinton's campaign in the United states. And for VVD MP Rene Leegte, who resigned after it became known that he had a paid function at a company that has common ground with his portfolio in the Kamer. 

PvA parliamentarians Desiree Bonis and Myrthe Hilkens left the Kamer after less than a year, because they did not agree with the way their party was going in politics.

VVD MP Michiel van Veen, PvdA MP Otwin van Dijk and CDA MP Peter Oskam left the Kamer to become mayor. PvdA MP Mariette Hamer left to chair the Social and Economic Council. And other PvdA MPs Pierre Heijnen and Tanja Jadnanasing now work in education.