Former intelligence chief nominated as new prime minister by Dutch parties

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  • Former Dutch intelligence chief Dick Schoof is set to be presented as the proposed prime minister of the incoming government of the Netherlands.
  • Geert Wilders, the election winner, reached an agreement on government formation with three other conservative parties after opting out of the top job himself.
  • Schoof, 67, currently holds a senior position at the Dutch ministry of justice and has led various agencies.

Former Dutch intelligence chief Dick Schoof will be presented on Tuesday as the proposed prime minister of the Netherlands’ incoming right-wing government.

The four parties that will form the new government, led by Geert Wilders’ nationalist PVV, announced a press conference with Schoof for 1500 GMT on Tuesday.

Election winner Wilders this month reached an agreement on forming the government with three other conservative parties, after ruling himself out of the top job in the cabinet.

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Schoof, 67, is currently the senior official at the Dutch ministry of justice, after having led the country’s intelligence agency AIVD and anti-terrorism agency NCTV for years. He was the head of the Dutch immigration service in the early 2000s.

Geert Wilders

Dutch far-right politician and leader of the PVV party Geert Wilders reacts as he meets the press as Dutch parties’ lead candidates meet for the first time after elections, in which far-right politician Geert Wilders booked major gains, to begin coalition talks in The Hague, Netherlands, on Nov. 24, 2023. (REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo)

In its governing plan published on May 16, the coalition said it would aim for the “strictest-ever asylum regime” with stronger border controls and harsher rules for asylum seekers who arrive in the Netherlands, setting up a potential clash with the EU before even taking office.

Schoof would head a cabinet that the four parties have said would have looser ties to parliament. It could take weeks to put together, with the parties all negotiating over the portfolios and responsibilities.

Once he has formed a government, set to be the most right-wing in the Netherlands in decades, he will be sworn in by the king and officially become prime minister.

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“Congratulations Dick. Dick Schoof has a great track record, is not a member of any party and thus stands above the parties, is honest and, on top of it, very friendly,” Wilders reacted on social media X.

That government will, however, have to stick to the agreement reached by the four parties, which is aiming to secure exceptions on EU asylum and environmental rules.

Far right leader Wilders last week said he expected the new government to be operational by end-June.

Besides his experience at the intelligence and anti-terrorism services, Schoof has also worked on reforming the Dutch police force.

Having worked mostly on Dutch domestic policies, Schoof, a divorced father of two, does not have a high international profile.



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