PvdA leader Attje Kuiken will not return to parliament after the upcoming elections. She decided not to take a place on PvdA-GroenLinks’ joint electoral candidate list, Kuiken said on X, formerly Twitter.
Kuiken took a PvdA seat in the Tweede Kamer for the first time in 2006 at the age of 29. Seventeen years in parliament was enough, she told the newspaper AD. “I leave it at that and pass it on to the next generation,” she said. “I have been in the Tweede Kamer for 17 years now with great pleasure, but this is a good time. I am now 45, in the prime of my life, halfway through, and can say: I had a blast.”
According to Kuiken, it is time for her to take a different role. If the elections go well for the left-wing bloc and the PvdA asks calls her for a ministerial post, she will consider it. But she won’t speculate further. “To be clear: that is not my mindset right now. It doesn’t feel like goodbye yet. We are at the start of a hopefully very special election and campaign. You shouldn’t dream about what’s next before the campaigns. But yes, if asked, it would be a huge honor.”
Frans Timmermans will lead the PvdA-GroenLinks combination. GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver will be on the candidate list.
Kuiken is the latest in a long line of parliamentarians who won’t be returning to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, after the elections in November. Earlier this month, the PvdA lost another prominent parliamentarian when Henk Nijboer also announced he was giving up his seat. Others who won’t be returning to parliament include Mona Keijzer (CDA), Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66), Sylvana Simons (BIJ1), and Farid Azarkan (DENK).
Several Rutte IV Cabinet members are also leaving politics behind them, including Mark Rutte himself and his three Deputy Prime Ministers, Sigrid Kaag, Carola Schouten, and Wopke Hoekstra.