Row over Muslims in Dutch cabinet

Far-right objections over two nominees cause uproar in the Dutch parliament.

    Geert Wilders' Freedom Party opposed the two
    Muslim nominees [AP]
    Fritsma said they "remain the servant of two different countries and that can lead to conflicting interests, and that's why it's necessary to oppose this."
    His remarks were interrupted by an uproar of protest from MPs across the political spectrum until he was cut off by the gavel of the parliamentary chairwoman, Gerdi Verbeet.
    Verbeet adjourned the session, and when it reconvened she said Fritsma had withdrawn his motion to block their appointment because it conflicted with the Dutch constitution prohibiting discrimination, which he had sworn to uphold.
    Geert Wilders, the leader of the Freedom party, told NOS television later that Verbeet, a Labour party member, was using her position to support the two designated cabinet members, who belong to the same party.
    The Freedom Party won nine seats out of 150 in elections in November 2006.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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