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THE HAGUE — Dutch voters could also be about to get somebody very totally different from the outgoing veteran prime minister Mark Rutte.
A former refugee, Dilan Yeşilgöz, who succeeded Rutte as leader of the VVD social gathering, is now main the polls forward of Wednesday’s vote and will grow to be the first female prime minister in Dutch historical past.
The contest is on a knife-edge, with three events vying to win essentially the most seats, however her nearest rival, Pieter Omtzigt has signalled he could not need the highest job for himself.
That makes it even likelier that Yeşilgöz, the nation’s justice minister, will grow to be premier on the head of the subsequent authorities.
Read extra: How to look at the Dutch elections like a professional – POLITICO
A self-confessed workaholic, Yeşilgöz is media savvy and doesn’t discuss a lot about being a girl in politics. She is invariably good humored and full of vitality in public, regardless of what she says are “tough” calls for of her present job. Her liberal-conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy is now in joint first place with 18 factors in POLITICO’s Poll of Polls, after she took over from Rutte as its leader.
Her platform has been a promise to crack down on migration, a problem that has lengthy dogged Dutch politics.
But Yeşilgöz advised POLITICO it’s her personal background as a refugee that has formed her view on migration.
“There’s an influx of too many people, not only asylum seekers but also migrant workers and international students, which means that we don’t have the capacity to help real refugees,” Yeşilgöz stated. She listed issues within the system, together with poor high quality reception services for asylum seekers and housing shortages as obstacles.
Yet Yeşilgöz has a mountain forward of her to reach the election.
If the VVD wins, it could be distinctive. There are hardly any examples of governing events that, throughout a change in management, nonetheless stay the most important.
Yet the newest POLITICO Poll of Polls reveals that VVD is neck and neck with centrist outsider Omtzigt’s new social gathering, New Social Contract. The green-left alliance of Frans Timmermans can also be in with an opportunity, on 15 p.c.
NETHERLANDS NATIONAL PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS
For extra polling information from throughout Europe go to POLITICO Poll of Polls.
As justice minister within the present caretaker authorities, she has been described as a troublesome negotiator and a powerful communicator, who solely does three issues in addition to work: sleep, train and consuming healthily.
But whereas Rutte has all the time been very personal about his private life, Yeşilgöz has been way more open, speaking frankly about her marriage, her battles with an immune situation and her hesitation about having youngsters.
Also not like Rutte, who was typically noticed biking to appointments, Yeşilgöz is pushed in all places and must be closely protected by a private safety element resulting from her place as a justice minister. “It is a big part of my life and that is very tough. But I choose to keep going, to not quit, because I will not be intimidated,” she stated.
The more and more violent and coarse nature of public discourse within the Netherlands is a rising problem in Dutch politics. Outgoing finance minister Sigrid Kaag introduced earlier that she was leaving politics amid considerations over her security.
Fair and strict
Brussels can also be protecting an in depth eye on the upcoming election. The Netherlands has positioned itself beneath the management of Rutte as a dependable and dominant accomplice within the EU. But officers in embassies and establishments in Brussels now marvel if the subsequent authorities will keep such a optimistic position after the November 22 vote.
It’s a transparent “yes” from Yeşilgöz, if she finally ends up as premier. “As a small country, we can play a big role. We have always done that, and it’s incredibly important that we will keep doing that,” she stated.
Playing strict and and enjoying honest would be the fundamental pillars that underpin her strategy to the EU, stated Yeşilgöz. That consists of no tinkering with the standards when new international locations need to grow to be an EU member — a debate that’s already heating up in gentle of Ukraine’s software to hitch the 27-country bloc.
Traditionally, the Dutch have been hawks-in-chief on EU fiscal coverage, criticizing large spenders and demanding a discount in debt ranges. But in newer instances, the Dutch authorities has favored flexibility, inside purpose.
“Just being very strict and not looking at the context at all, I am exaggerating a bit, that’s not going to be our line,” Yeşilgöz stated. “But being very flexible and actually making things less clear and more complex is not our line either. Europe must be a stable cooperation, and clear financial agreements are very important to this end.”
Although the VVD is main within the polls, the race is much from achieved.
The fundamental problem for Yeşilgöz through the marketing campaign has been to persuade voters that she needs renewal regardless of her social gathering being in energy for greater than a decade.
The previous 13 years rather a lot of issues have been going nicely, she stated, pointing to the truth that The Netherlands weathered the financial disaster and coronavirus pandemics comparatively safely.
“At the same time, when you zoom in and see that many people with normal jobs and incomes lie awake at night because of their bills … so I can’t say that things are going well for everyone,” she stated.
“On top of that there have been in the past years some blind spots,” she stated. These included the poor dealing with of compensation claims in relation to earthquake injury in Groningen and a childcare advantages fiasco by which 1000’s of individuals, typically dual-nationals, have been incorrectly labeled fraudsters. “It is evident that we have learned from that and need to prevent new blind spots from appearing.”
And what of her former lader, Rutte? He was noticed in Brussels earlier this month on a go to to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, after hinting he want to take over the place on the high of the army alliance himself.
Asked whether or not Rutte was gunning to steer NATO, Yeşilgöz laughed.“Wherever he ends up, that organization is very lucky to have him,” she stated.