Dutch Parliament agrees to abolish referendum

The House where the Budget Discussions are taking placeThe House where the Budget Discussions are taking place - wikipedia

A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted for abolishing the advisory referendum on Thursday. With 76 votes for and 69 votes against, the law that arranges the abolition was adopted, NOS reports.

Every parliamentarian voted individually on the law to abolish the referendum, as well as motions made by opposition parties.

A few parties gave a so-called vote statement, to explain why they're voting as they are. FvD leader Thierry Baudet addressed his statement to the D66 parliamentarians. "This is the moment for the D66 to show that its 50 years of existence was not for nothing. I appeal to all D66 parliamentarians in the room: vote according to your conscience."

The D66 was the only party in the coalition for who it was not certain which whey the party will vote. The D66's parliamentary election campaign stated that referenda should be embraced. Extra painful is that D66'er Kasja Ollongren, as Minister of Home Affairs, is responsible for defending this law. 

During the debate it was very clear that none of the opposition parties are happy with the fact that the coalition is abolishing the referendum, without holding a referendum on the matter. Even the SGP, a vehement opponent to advisory referenda, voted for a GroenLinks proposal to amend Ollongren's law so that a referendum on it can be held first. Despite the SGP's support, the motion did not get enough votes to pass - 71 parliamentarians voted for, 74 against. The SGP did in the end vote for the abolition law.

In a few weeks this law will be handled in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. It is expected to pass - the coalition has a one seat majority in the senate.