59 brand new MPs sworn in today; First debate on formation leak
At 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the new parliamentarians elected on March 17 will be sworn in. This Tweede Kamer includes 59 brand new parliamentarians, who've never held a parliamentary seat before. There are also nine MPs who weren't part of the previous Kamer, but did hold parliamentary seats in the past, NOS reports.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the swearing-in will be done in three groups of 50. The parliamentarians can only bring a limited number of friends and family to witness, and they can only be there for a limited amount of time. The brand new parliamentarians will each get a bunch of flowers on the table in front of them.
After the new Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is sworn in, the new parliamentarians will have their first debate. The debate will be on notes from the cabinet formation process that leaked last week, when then pathfinder Kasja Ollongren was photographed carrying them. Among other things, the notes mentioned CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt with the note "function elsewhere".
Ollongren and Annemarie Jorritsma stepped down as pathfinders following this leak. They were replaced by Tamara van Ark (VVD) and Wouter Koolmees (D66).
For a time, it was uncertain whether this debate could happen today as Ollongren tested positive for the coronavirus last week. She was tested again and got negative results on Wednesday.
The composition of the Tweede Kamer may still change if any of the parliamentarians are called to be Ministers and State Secretaries in the next Dutch cabinet. Then the candidates next on their party's list, or who got just too few preference votes to make it into the Kamer, will get a seat.