PvdA Member of Parliament and former Speaker of the House Khadija Arib is leaving the House of Representatives. She has been in the news a lot in recent days due to an investigation into possible transgressive behavior by her. An initial series of charges last year appeared to have little effect on her. But now that she came under fire again, she decided to clear the field herself.
Khadija Arib was born in Hedami, Morocco on October 10, 1960. She came to the Netherlands when she was fifteen, where her father worked as a guest worker. She was educated at the Social Academy and studied sociology at the University of Amsterdam.
Arib was already socially active before she entered politics. For example, she worked at the Institute for Social and Economic Studies in Rotterdam and at Social Relief and Healthcare in Amsterdam. There she stood up for the wives of, for example, migrants who ran into problems during divorces. Arib realized during conversations with officials that she wanted to sit on that side of the table. She wanted immediate influence to be able to do something about it.
Meanwhile, a book of hers was published, Couscous on Sundayabout moving to the Netherlands as the fifteen-year-old daughter of a guest worker.
Only Van der Staaij was longer active than Arib in the House of Representatives
In 1998, Arib became active in the House of Representatives, which would eventually turn into a career of 24 years. This made her the second longest serving Member of Parliament. Only Kees van der Staaij was ahead of her with 8903 days.
Arib’s activities included medical and legal affairs. She argued for a children’s ombudsman, which was subsequently established.
The position of women and children are important topics for her. This is also evident from the parliamentary questions she asked during her political career. She asked questions about illegal adoption from Nepal, euthanasia, information about resuscitation, promotion of organ donation and the right to IVF treatment for singles.
Suddenly the chamber had a president of Moroccan descent
In 2012, Arib made a bid for the presidency of the House of Representatives, but was unsuccessful. Anouchka van Miltenburg from the VVD took the win.
Four years later, in 2016, the time had finally come. In that year, Arib was appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives. She defeated Ton Elias (VVD), Martin Bosma (PVV) and Madeleine van Toorenburg (CDA), who had also applied.
Diederik Samsom congratulates the newly elected chamber president Khadija Arib.
In the debate leading up to the vote in 2016, Arib addressed a wide range of issues in more detail. They were not only about her political ambitions, but also about her appearance. The PVV has previously criticized her Moroccan accent, and the VVD wanted to know if the Speaker of the Parliament had mastered English and French.
Arib speaks French fluently, she said. Arib was aware of his English: “I’m not Frans Timmermans, but I’m not Louis van Gaal either.”
Suddenly the chamber had a president of Moroccan descent. “I was able to show that if you fight for something, you can also achieve something. This applies not only as a politician, but also in school or work,” she said during an interview with her own party PvdA.
After the end of the presidency, Arib remained active as a member of the Norwegian Parliament
In 2020, Arib indicated that she wanted to remain Speaker of the House of Representatives for a longer period, but Vera Bergkamp took over on 7 April 2021. Arib then remained active as a Member of Parliament, but following allegations against her in recent days, she indicated that she left the house.
It was not the first time that her performance has been criticized. More than a month before the 2021 election RTL News outwardly that officials hate working with her. Words such as “abuse of her position, manipulative and underhand” were used in the accusations.
These are complaints that are now resurfacing, but Arib still stands firm and refuses to respond to the criticism against her. She only says that it is “riddled with factual, substantive and procedural inaccuracies”.
After 8812 days in the chamber, Arib has given up politics.