Dutch party tries to block Muslims from Cabinet

February 15, 2007 15:59

A far-right Dutch political party objected Thursday to the appointment of two Muslims to the Cabinet because they have dual nationalities. Ahmed Aboutaleb and Nebahat Albayrak were named to become the junior ministers for social affairs and integration respectively in the new centrist Cabinet being formed by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. They would be the first Dutch Cabinet members who are Muslim. An opposition member of parliament for the nationalist Freedom Party said the two should be barred because they have second nationalities - Aboutaleb also holds Moroccan citizenship, and Albayrak Turkish. They "remain the servant of two different countries and that can lead to conflicting interests, and that's why it's necessary to oppose this," Sietse Fritsma said.

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