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Dutch News
MPs want leadership from speaker 3/16/2007
AMSTERDAM - Gerdi Verbeet has only been speaker of the house in Parliament since November but was under fire already this weekend, the Volkskrant reports.

The Telegraaf quoted Liberal (VVD) MP Willibrord van Beek on Saturday as saying that Verbeet does not listen to members of Parliament and does not prepare adequately for her duties.

Van Beek will address Verbeet on this matter in the parliamentary executive, which governs the day to day workings of Parliament.

The VVD MP is being criticised now on all sides. Faction leader of the ChristenUnie Arie Slob said it was "reprehensible" that the VVD was voicing criticism like that in public.

Christian Democrat (CDA) faction leader Pieter van Geel also thinks that discussions on the performance of the speaker of the house should not be aired in public.

CDA members were voicing criticism of Verbeet in the corridors of Parliament on Thursday however. One MP even said there was a "crisis of authority." Willibrord van Beek confirmed his own comments on Sunday. "But I never intended to start a discussion on the matter."

He said he had been "naïve" in his interview with De Telegraaf. Verbeet "is a great speaker of the house," who "should be given the chance to improve."

Verbeet (PvdA) clashed with a majority in parliament on Thursday regarding the schedule for a number of emergency debates. She displayed weaker authority and more hesitancy than her predecessor Frans Weisglas.

Verbeet herself has refrained from comment. She says she is "always willing" to discuss matters with the VVD in the parliamentary executive, a spokesperson said. Slob also said that the speaker''s attitude was "extremely proper."

Thirty MPs are all that are needed to call an emergency debate. That means that Geert Wilders'' party (nine seats) can call emergency debates along with the VVD (22 seats). PvdA MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem says the VVD will frequently be under pressure from Wilders to agree to debates.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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