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Netherlands. Dilan Yesilgoz the new leader of the liberal VVD. He will replace Prime Minister Marek Rutte

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Justice and Security Minister Dilan Yesilgoz will replace Prime Minister Mark Rutte as head of the liberal VVD, the party announced on social media on Monday. Yesilgoz will be both the leader of the Liberal list in the early parliamentary elections in November and the VVD’s official candidate for the post of Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

A 46-year-old MP from the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) was recommended by the party’s management board to take over the party’s leader, Prime Minister Marek Rutt. The former leader of the Liberals announced his retirement from politics after collapse of the government coalition in July due to a dispute over the admission of refugees.

READ MORE: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced his retirement from politics

Yesilgoz: It’s a great honor

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Dilan Yesilgoz still has to gain the support of party members in the vote, but due to the fact that it has no opponents, this will be only a formality. This is confirmed by the party itself. “Dilan Yesilgoz is officially our new leader! – we read on the VVD Facebook profile.

“It is a great honor to become the leader of the VVD. Thank you for your trust! And now we are energetically getting down to work, there is plenty to do!” Yesilgoz wrote on Twitter.

The Minister of Justice and Security will also be the leader of the list of liberals in the accelerated list elections at the end of November, and the VVD’s official candidate for the post of Prime Minister of the Netherlands. As noted by Reuters, she could become the first woman in history to head the Dutch government.

Dilan Yesilgoz – who is he?

Born in Turkey Dilan Yesilgoz, at the age of 7, escaped with her mother and sister by boat to the Greek island of Kos, from where she later ended up in the Netherlands. She graduated from cultural studies at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (VU) and then became involved in politics.

In 2014, she became a councilor of the capital city, and in 2017-2021 she was a Member of the European Parliament. Then she became Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in Rutte’s government. Since the beginning of 2022, he has been the Minister of Justice and Security.

Yesilgoz is classified by the media as a right wing of the VVD. She is known for her tough stance on accepting refugees, but at the same time distances herself from Geert Wilders’ anti-immigrant PVV party. The left-wing daily De Volkskrant once described her as “a pit bull with empathy.”

Main photo source: SEM VAN DER WAL/EPA/PAP

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