The VVD is entering the parliamentary election in November with seven women in the top ten of its list of candidate parliamentarians. Party leader Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius leads the list, followed by parliamentary faction leader Sophie Hermans and her deputy Bente Becker, sources told De Telegraaf.
Eric van der Burg, currently the caretaker State Secretary for Asylum, is the first man on the list in spot four. Nitrogen Minister Christiane van der Wal is fifth on the list, followed by two male parliamentarians – Ruben Brekelmans and Eelco Heinen in sixth and seventh place.
Auckje de Vries, currently the State Secretary in charge of Benefits at the Finance Ministry, is in eighth place, and MP Rolien Kamminga is in ninth. Brand new Education Minister Marielle Paul is in tenth place. She succeeded Dennis Wiersma in July after the Rutte IV Cabinet had already collapsed.
According to the Telegraaf’s sources, the VVD opted for familiar faces in its top ten candidates given how short this Cabinet and parliamentarians were in office before the government collapsed. The region where the candidates come from played a lesser role.
Sophie Hermans is high on the list given her role as leader of the VVD faction in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament. But she may not fill that position again after the election, the newspaper’s sources said. She may be appointed to the Cabinet if the VVD makes it into the next coalition. If the Liberals become an opposition party, Yeşilgöz-Zegerius will likely lead the parliamentary faction.
Whether the VVD opted for pushing female politicians forward this election has anything to do with a flood of leading women leaving politics is unclear. After the Cabinet’s fall, Sigrid Kaag announced that she was leaving national politics due to threats against her. Several other female politicians, including MPs Lilianne de Haan and Sylvana Simons and Minister Carola Schouten, also announced their departures.