Written by 22:40 World

Former Intelligence Chief Tapped as Next Dutch Prime Minister

The Netherlands will be getting a new prime minister, with the four right-wing parties that are forming a government finally naming their pick, more than six months after the elections.

The parties selected a top justice official, Dick Schoof, 67, on Tuesday. They will now continue work on forming a cabinet, naming ministers and state secretaries, with the aim of finalizing a government in about four weeks.

The choice of Mr. Schoof — the highest-ranking official at the Ministry of Justice and Security and a former counterterrorism chief, who has no political experience or party affiliation — reflects an attempt to govern the Netherlands differently after more than 13 years under Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s leadership.

While Mr. Schoof’s name had not been widely circulated as a potential prime minister, the four parties have said they agreed to set up a government that includes political outsiders, in order to create more distance between the Parliament and the cabinet.

“The step I am taking now is unexpected but not illogical,” Mr. Schoof told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday in The Hague, saying that he wanted to be a prime minister for all Dutch people.

His selection comes nearly two weeks after the four right-wing parties that together hold an 88-seat majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives agreed on a preliminary deal to form a government after months of negotiations prompted by a surprise election result in November.

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Last modified: 30 May 2024
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