PVV to staff state secretary for kingdom relations, digitalization

The far-right Party for Freedom PVV will staff the new state secretary of kingdom relations and digitalization position in the upcom­ing cabinet expected to be led by Prime Minister Dick Schoof. This was an­nounced by Formateur Richard van Zwol on Wednesday, June 12. It is still unclear who will take up the position, but it is clear that this state secre­tary’s superior, the minis­ter of interior affairs and kingdom relations, will be staffed by the New Social Contract NSC.

The news that the right-wing party will be responsi­ble for filling the position of the state secretary for king­dom relations has sparked concerns in both the Neth­erlands and the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, particularly because of the well-known critical stance of PVV Party Leader Geert Wilders. These concerns were reinforced during the debate of the Permanent Committee Kingdom Rela­tions of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament with Caretaker State Secre­tary Alexandra van Huffel­en on Wednesday.

During what is expected to be Van Huffelen’s last committee meeting as state secretary, PVV member Peter van Haasen said that now it seems that the PVV will staff the state secre­tary of kingdom relations post, “the wind of change will be blowing through the department and in the Ca­ribbean parts of the King­dom, both in the windward and leeward islands.” He later added that he cannot guarantee that his party will follow the path that Van Huffelen has laid before them.

The new Dutch cabinet will comprise 29 ministers and state secretaries, nine of them appointed by the PVV, party leaders have confirmed. The PVV will staff a total of five minis­tries: asylum and migra­tion; foreign trade and de­velopment aid; infrastruc­ture and waterways; eco­nomic affairs; and health welfare and sport. Besides the kingdom relations sec­retary, PVV is responsible for staffing three other state secretaries: justice and security; transport and environment; and long­term care.

The only name that has been announced so far for the PVV portfolios is that of Member of Parliament (MP) Fleur Agema, who has sat in parliament for the PVV since 2006 and has long campaigned to reduce or abolish the excess charge of 385 euros on health in­surance and will take up her post as health minister. Reports in The Hague say that Wilders is planning to name MP Gidi Markuszow­er as minister for the newly created asylum and migra­tion ministry. Markuszower had to withdraw as a PVV candidate for parliament in 2010 after it emerged he had been flagged up by the intelligence service as a “risk to the integrity of the Netherlands.”

The right-wing liberal VVD has retained the jus­tice ministry, which is be­ing vacated by party leader Dilan Yesilgoz, and will appoint the ministers for finance and defence. It will also take charge of an expanded climate portfo­lio that includes “green growth.”

The VVD’s finance spokesman, Eelco Heinen, is expected to be given the job of finance minister. David van Weel, currently Nato’s assistant secretary general for innovation, is reportedly being lined up to return to The Hague as justice minister.

Ruben Brekelmans is like­ly to be appointed by the VVD to the defence minis­try, where he is expected to combine the Netherlands’ hawkish line on Ukraine with a strongly pro-Israeli stance.  Sophie Hermans, the VVD’s parliamentary

group leader during the last cabinet term, has reported­ly been asked to take care of the climate portfolio.

New party NSC, led by Pieter Omtzigt, will be re­sponsible for both the min­istries of interior affairs and foreign relations, as well as education and social affairs. Career diplomat Casper Veldkamp is ex­pected to take the foreign affairs post. MP Eddy van Hijum, former member of the Christian Democratic Appeal CDA, is said to be the NSC candidate for social affairs and employ­ment.

The farmers’ party BBB will staff both the minister and state secretary in the department of agriculture, which will include fisheries in its title for the first time in 21 years, as well as the housing ministry. Former State Secretary of Eco­nomic affairs and Climate Policy Mona Keijzer has been ear-marked for the latter role.

Although the parties agreed at an earlier stage to form a “programme cabi­net”, with half the posts filled by non-political ap­pointees, in practice only prime minister-elect Dick Schoof is unaffiliated with any party.

Van Zwol will hold inter­views with the proposed candidates from Friday as he wraps up his term as for­mateur. He will assess their health and suitability for the role. MPs will also have the opportunity to question the proposed ministers for the first time in a series of public hearings before they are formally sworn in at the start of July. Each of these hearings could take up to three hours.

The Daily Herald.

Voting Bureau Public Entity Saba Verifies EU Election Results
Saba's first microbrewery celebrates signing of dots

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Saba News