4 Feb 2009

Dutch PM presses Independent Commission sidelining Parliament in Iraq Investigation

Dutch Parliament has voted to support the institution of an “independent commission” to investigate the Netherlands' support for the war in Iraq, despite vociferous opposition calls for a parliamentary inquiry. Prime Minister Balkenende says parliament will still be free to hold an inquiry after the commission, to be headed by lawyer Willibrord Davids, has reached its conclusion in nine months time.
Mr Balkenende expressed his confidence in the Davids Commission, and denied that it would be less probing than a parliamentary inquiry. He said people might in fact be inclined to speak more freely in front of Mr Davids.
The investigation comes in response to concerns about the way Mr Balkenende's government reached its decision to support the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The opposition on both left and right has been highly critical of the institution of the Davids Commission instead of a parliamentary inquiry.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide