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Ex-Socialist MP stays on in Dutch Parliament

Published on 04/02/2004

4 February 2004 

AMSTERDAM — Despite being expelled from the Socialist Party (SP) faction in Parliament earlier this week, MP Ali Lazrak has decided to stay in Parliament as an independent against the wishes of his former party and the house chairman.

Lazrak met with the chairman of the Lower House of Parliament, Frans Weisglas, on Tuesday before announcing his decision. Weisglas urged him to vacate his seat, but also admitted the MP was legally entitled to remain in parliament.

The disgruntled socialist will now be known in parliament as the Groep Lazrak (Lazrak Group), news agency ANP reported.
He initially wanted his one-man party to be registered as Vrije Socialist (Free Socialist), but parliamentary regulations mean that someone who splits form their party must be registered under their own name.

Lazrak was expelled from the SP faction on Monday after he refused to continue donating his salary to the party and for directing harsh criticism at party leader Jan Marijnissen. He also attracted the wrath of the SP after he resigned from the parliamentary commission set up to investigate government integration policy.

He hopes to remain a member of the SP, but Marijnissen previously warned that he would expel him totally from the party if he did not return his seat back to the socialists. Lazrak hopes to enter into talks with the SP leader after two-week “cooling off” period.

The SP parliamentary representation now falls to eight. In the next few days, practical elements such as place in the parliamentary chamber and an office will be arranged for Lazrak.

Generally, the electorate votes for a party list of candidates rather than an individual politician. Each time a split takes place within a party, it is argued by those remaining loyal to the party that the rebellious MP or MPs should surrender the seat or seats.

In 2002, three MPs, including former party leader Harry Wijnschenk, parted ways with the populist LPF party but retained their places in Parliament. They subsequently lost or did not contest to keep their seats in the general election in January 2003.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news