24 Aug, 2023

VVD and D66 confirm new leadership candidates

ALDE Party members VVD and D66 selected Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius and Rob Jetten as candidates for their party leadership ahead of snap parliamentary elections in the Netherlands on 22 November.

Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, who has served as Minister of Justice and Security since January 2022, is set to replace outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte after a 17-year stint as VVD party leader. Her candidacy was confirmed on 14 August after a unanimous nomination by VVD’s regional chairs and board in July.

After three years as a local councillor in Amsterdam, Yeşilgöz-Zegerius was elected to the House of Representatives in 2017, working as spokesperson for climate and energy, and successively for justice and security. In 2021, she became State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate in the outgoing Rutte III cabinet.

Yeşilgöz-Zegerius said it is a “huge honour” to begin a new role as VVD leader, thanked her voters for their trust and vowed to make the Netherlands stronger and more resilient.

On 12 August, D66 members elected Jetten as their new party leader with 93% of the vote. Jetten, the outgoing Minister of Climate and Energy, will succeed Sigrid Kaag after her three-year leadership.

Jetten was elected to the House of Representatives in 2017, and became the youngest-ever leader of the D66 parliamentary party the following year. Previously, he was the local D66 party leader in Nijmegen and led the party from two to seven seats in the city council.

This is a crucial time. War on our continent, the earth is heating up, people are working hard but don't have enough left over at the end of the month,” said Jetten.

“This is a moment of new opportunity. A new generation is rising in politics. I want to unite the country. Face together the big problems, rather than each other. This is a matter of just doing it. It is time for new energy.”

Both candidates are pending the official ratification at party congresses in September (VVD) and October (D66).

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