Published: 10:18, May 29, 2024 | Updated: 12:07, May 29, 2024
Dutch parties name top civil servant as new PM
By Xinhua
Former Dutch intelligence chief Dick Schoof looks on at a press conference as he is presented as the proposed prime minister of the Netherlands, in The Hague, Netherlands, May 28, 2024. (PHOTO / REUTERS)

THE HAGUE - Dick Schoof, a top Dutch civil servant, has been named as the new prime minister of the Netherlands, the four political parties involved in forming a right-wing government announced on Tuesday.

Schoof, 67, has held various positions as a civil servant and is currently a leading official at the Ministry of Justice and Security. He previously led the Dutch intelligence service, counter-terrorism agency, and immigration service.

I am there for all Dutch people... I did not take the decision lightly and I stand here with full conviction. 

Dick Schoof, Dutch Prime Minister

Speaking briefly at a press conference, Schoof said that he is not affiliated with any party and has been asked by all four parties to accept the new post.

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"I am there for all Dutch people," said Schoof. "I did not take the decision lightly and I stand here with full conviction."

The far-right populist Party for Freedom (PVV), the center-right New Social Contract (NSC) and People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) parties, and the farmers' movement BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) have been in talks on forming a new Dutch government since the general election in November 2023.

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PVV leader Geert Wilders, whose party gained 37 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives, becoming the biggest party in the Netherlands for the first time in history, said that Schoof was chosen by all four parties.

"He has good experience on the right issues," said Wilders. "He is an independent person who is not a member of a political party."

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The leaders of VVD, NSC and BBB also welcomed the candidature of Schoof as the new prime minister.

Schoof is set to work with the four right-wing coalition partners to look for new ministers in the upcoming government. The House of Representatives will then hold hearings for the new ministers, which will last about a week.

Richard van Zwol, coordinator for the four-party negotiations, expects that the new government will be ready around June 26.