MP's thank De Jonge in what may be his last Covid debate
Multiple parliamentarians thanked Hugo de Jonge for his work during the coronavirus debate. They did so because this might be his last debate as Minister of Public Health, Welfare, and Sports. Several parties also stood up for him after a verbal attack by Tunahan Kuzu from DENK.
Kuzu must have been preparing for De Jonge's departure, even though it has not yet been officially announced that he will be replaced at his Ministry. "But you like to say goodbye to some people twice," he said. The MP said that you should thank outgoing Ministers, but that he did not know for what exactly. He then made a list of decisions that he believed were wrong.
Several MPs criticized how the debate sometimes played out. One of them was VVD member Aukje de Vries. She wanted to "express her respect" for De Jonge's commitment and perseverance. "That often happened in a raw environment that can also involve quite a personal attack on people." De Jonge's party colleague Joba van den Berg (CDA) and Mirjam Bikker (ChristenUnie) also stood up for the Minister.
"The Minister of Public Health and I can clash very much on content, but in the past 15 years, I have not seen a Minister who was so well informed on all files," said PVV parliamentarian Fleur Agema. Liane den Haan and Nilüfer Gündoğan (VOLT) also expressed their support and appreciation for the Cabinet. SGP member Chris Stoffer said to wish "the power of peace" for the Minister.
Lisa Westerveld said she sometimes disagreed with the Cabinet, "but they worked extremely hard." Caroline van der Plas (BBB) said that substantive discussions with the Minister do not mean that she has anything against "Hugo de Jonge as a person." She also thanked the members of the Cabinet for their hard work because "there was no doubt about that."
A formal decision has not yet been made on who will be the Minister of Health in the next Cabinet. NRC reported last week that the Minister would not be from the CDA.
Reporting by ANP