Opposition party leaders demand clarification on Khadija Arib investigation
MPs have set a deadline for Tweede Kamer Chair Vera Bergkamp to clarify the independent investigation into former Parliament chair Khadija Arib. Bergkamp and the executive board of the Tweede Kamer must explain the reasons for the investigation before 1 p.m. on Monday, according to the NOS.
"We would like to ask you for a clear explanation of what happened, in the interest of the reputation of the Tweede Kamer," wrote party leaders from SP, Party for the Animals, BBB and MP Omtzigt in a three-page letter on Saturday. They also questioned how Bergkamp had reached the decision to have Arib investigated.
On Wednesday, NRC leaked the news that an independent external party would investigate allegations of unacceptable behavior by Arib during her time as Tweede Kamer chairman from 2016 to 2021. The investigation was based on two anonymous letters that accused Arib of creating an unsafe work environment and abusing her power.
Arib responded by saying she was "shocked" and had only heard of the investigation via the NRC report. “Another ‘anonymous’ political stab in the back...I demand an explanation from Vera Bergkamp (D66) about this method," Arib wrote on Twitter.
The opposition party leaders who wrote the letter on Saturday demand to know why the parliamentary lawyer was not consulted, as well as why Arib was not notified of the investigation beforehand. The letter writers also pointed out that some Tweede Kamer employees disagree with the characterization of Arib. "How is it ensured that all sounds in the work environment are heard?"