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Opposition Zuidoost walks out as well

24 April 2008 - Last Tuesday, the entire opposition in Zuidoost walked out of a district council meeting to protest against a new integrity code being forced upon them, local politicians write on their weblogs. The initiative seems to have been inspired by a similar act of rebellion on the part of the Zuideramstel opposition.

In response to a number of scandals involving PvdA politicians voting on subsidies for organisations they were themselves involved with, the Zuidoost district council decided to adopt a stricter integrity code. However, coalition parties PvdA and VVD have proposed to include a few stipulations in the code that seem to address members of opposition parties as well.

For example, they want the code to state that politicians should not lie, insult or make unsubstantiated accusations. According to opposition member Henk de Boer (CDA, photo), this is an attack on himself and his colleague Mart van de Wiel (OZO), who frequently use their weblogs to publish accusations and conspiracy theories.

PvdA and VVD further proposed to include a stipulation that council members should not violate article 1 of the Constitution, which forbids discrimination. This suggestion appears to be a veiled attack on the ChristenUnie, whose party leader Yvette Lont caused a controversy by her explicit anti-gay stance.

Confronted by the amendments proposed by the PvdA and VVD, opposition parties demanded more time for discussion. The VVD, eager to present itself as morally upright, insisted on a decision that same night. However, when the entire opposition left the council chamber, the party was forced to accept a postponement until next week.

The Zuidoost opposition seems to have been inspired by its colleagues in Zuideramstel, who walked out on a council meeting last month.

Source: Henk de Boer and Mart van de Wiel weblogs (in Dutch). See also: Zuideramstel


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