Dick Dolman, former President of the House of Representatives: "face and guardian of parliamentary democracy"

On Thursday 31 January 2019, the House of Representatives commemorated its former President, Dick Dolman, who passed away on Wednesday 23 January at the age of 83. Mr Dolman was President of the House of Representatives from 1979 until 1989. Since 1970 he had been an MP for the Labour Party (PvdA).

Former President of the House, Dick Dolman, in 1982.
Former President of the House, Dick Dolman, in 1982.

During the commemoration, both the President of the House, Ms Khadija Arib, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke. Besides Mr Dolman's widow and his children and grandchildren, a number of former presidents of the House were in attendance.

'Of great significance for the House and the Dutch democracy'

Ms Khadija Arib commemorated Dick Dolman as "the man who, throughout a decade, was the face and guardian of our parliamentary democracy". "In and outside the House, Mr Dolman gained appreciation for his strict style of chairing the sittings. A man of authority, who managed to keep order, but also a man who could appreciate a joke now and then."

Proud of parliament

During a meeting with former Presidents of the House in 2017, Dolman told Arib he had been proud of parliament and the office of President of the House. He saw the political arena as a place where people from different walks of life come across each other, bound by written and unwritten rules.

"Deep love for the House"

On Monday 28 January, in a first reaction to Mr Dolman's passing away, Ms Arib said: "Dolman enjoyed the debate, which he firmly steered in the right direction. He had a deep love for the House and was respected by all its members. He has been of great significance for the House, the office of President of the House and our parliamentary democracy as a whole. We wish his family strength and courage."