The newly elected MPs must file an extract from the register of births to the House of Representatives, as well as a declaration disclosing all public offices they hold, or an administrative office. Together these documents are called the appointee’s “credentials”. The Committee on the Examination of the Credentials of the House of Representatives, composed of “sitting” members of the House, examines every appointee’s credentials. On the basis of the reports issued by the polling stations, the committee also examines whether the elections were conducted properly.
The swearing in of Members of the House of Representatives
The chairperson of the Committee on the Examination of the Credentials reports on the examination of the credentials of the newly elected MPs in the last sitting of the “old” House. In the next sitting all the newly elected MPs are sworn in by the Speaker of the House. MPs who are appointed in the course of a parliamentary session must also send in their credentials. They are sworn in at the beginning of the next sitting of the House.
The election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives
Since 2002, the House of Representatives has chosen its own Speaker, shortly after the swearing in of the House in its new composition. Before 2002, the political groups used to decide among themselves who would become the new Speaker of the House. Nowadays, every MP can apply for the post, simply by submitting a letter of application to their fellow MPs. The candidates are given the opportunity to elaborate on their motivation. Subsequently, the House of Representatives votes on who may hold the post in the coming four years. Mr Frans Weisglas was the first elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, in 2002. From 2006 until 2012, Ms Gerdi Verbeet was Speaker of the House. From 25 September 2012 until 12 December 2015, Ms Anouchka van Miltenburg was Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The oath or affirmation
At the swearing-in ceremony in the House of Representatives every MP has to take the oath or the affirmation:
“I swear (declare) that in order to be appointed member of the States-General, I have not promised or given, directly or indirectly, any gifts or presents to any person under any name or pretext whatsoever.
I swear (declare and affirm) that in order to do or refrain from doing anything whatsoever in this office, I have not accepted and will not accept, directly or indirectly, any promises or presents from anyone whomsoever.
I swear (affirm) allegiance to the King, to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and to the Constitution.
I swear (affirm) that I will faithfully perform all the duties which the office lays upon me.
So help me, Almighty God!
(This I declare and affirm!)”