Only one candidate for leadership at VVD, ChristenUnie, PvdD

Ju;y 17, 2023  –THE HAGUE – Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius will likely lead the VVD in the upcoming parliamentary election, Mirjam Bikker the ChristenUnie, and Esther Ouwehand the PvdD. At least, they’re currently running unopposed for leadership of their parties. 

Last week, The VVD announced Yesilgoz’s candidacy to succeed Mark Rutte as VVD leader and possibly Prime Minister if the party does well in the elections. Then, the current Justice Minister had one opponent in the party leader election – former VVD parliamentarian Andre Bosman. 

The former parliamentarian announced that he was withdrawing from the election on Monday. Bosman said he supports Yesilgoz as a candidate, calling her “a solid liberal with her heart in the right place,” NOS reports. 

In theory, the VVD may still have to hold an election to select their new leader – candidates have until mid-August to register. But it seems unlikely that anyone would come forward. Last week, several prominent VVD members said they were unavailable to succeed Rutte, including Edith Schippers, Klaas Dijkhoff, and Sophie Hermans. 


Mirjam Bikker announced her candidacy to lead the ChristenUnie in the upcoming elections in Trouw and Nederlands Dagblad on Monday. Party members must approve her candidacy after the summer, but it seems a formality. Deputy Prime Minister and ChristenUnie party prominent Carola Schouten announced last week that she would leave national politics as soon as there is a new Cabinet.

Bikkers succeeded Gert-Jan Segers as political leader and party chairman early this year. The past six months were “quite a crash course,” she told Trouw. “I’m excited to go into the elections as a party leader. Because it really is about something: what is your compass? Which way do you want to go with the Netherlands?” 


The PvdD, the party for the animals, nominated Esther OUwehand to again lead the party in the elections. “We are on the eve of major changes,” Ouwehand told NOS on Monday. “I am combative and confident that we can turn it in the right direction.” 

Ouwehand has been a parliamentarian since 2006. She succeeded Marianne Thieme as party leader in 2019 and is now running unopposed. Her candidacy will be presented to PvdD members in September. 


The Netherlands will hold parliamentary elections on November 22 following the collapse of the Rutte IV Cabinet over irreconcilable differences in the migration policy. The parties clashed specifically over plans to limit family reunification for war refugees. 

The latest poll by Maurice de Hond shows the VVD, BBB, and the left-wing bloc PvdA/GroenLinks becoming the largest parties in the new parliament with 25 seats each. But that is only if independent parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt doesn’t run. If he decides to set up his own party for the election, Omtzigt will get 29 seats as things stand now, according to De Hond. 

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