VVD crown prince Klaas Dijkhoff gives up

Klaas Dijkhoff, leader of the VVD in the Lower House and the alleged successor of Mark Rutte as leader of the party, is saying goodbye to politics. He will not return to the House of Representatives after the next elections in March, he reveals candid interview with NRC:

Almost two years ago he decided that he wanted to leave politics. He told that to a few people, otherwise he kept it to himself. “I always thought, let me be the crown prince, then others won’t have to bear that burden.” He will leave after the elections in March next year. In the Christmas holidays of 2018, he already decided that he would no longer be on the candidate list. He first told Ben Verwaayen, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, confidant of Rutte and prominent advisor to the party leadership. “In the summer of 2019 I said to Mark [Rutte]: “Please bear in mind that I don’t want to be in your plans.” My ambitions in life are not only focused on my work. I also don’t want to burn down or die out here. The work is not finished, but I am now more curious about large projects outside this area. I’m not tired or anything. ”

Dijkhoff does make a reservation. If they don’t have anyone better in 15 years, he will still be available. “I hope for the party that I will be redundant by then.” The group chairman got into trouble last year because of a redundancy pay issue, which did not bother him. Suddenly he dangled at the bottom of the reliability lists.

It seems as if Dijkhoff’s political mission has failed. He wanted to remove the party from the battle for attention with PVV and FvD, the newspaper notes:

Dijkhoff wrote the discussion paper Liberalism that works for people in 2019, with which he wanted to bring the VVD back to the ‘reasonable middle’. The VVD, Dijkhoff thought, had become too much a party for rich people and large companies, and too little one for the middle class and small entrepreneurs. Dijkhoff studied the technical side of the file in the climate agreement. He first called his colleagues of coalition partner D66 “drammers” and warned against “climate stress” among citizens, but eventually came up with the almost social-democratic solution of a heat fund, with which home owners can pay for a heat pump.

Dijkhoff leaves the leadership position to Mark Rutte. It has not yet been officially confirmed that the prime minister, who has been in the Torentje for ten years, will do that, but it is very likely.

Halbe Zijlstra was previously appointed as Rutte’s successor. He had to leave politics after it became clear that he was lied about his personal relationship with Russian President Putin.

Also read: Francisco van Jole wondered in February 2019 whether Dijkhoff wanted to be leader of the VVD:

Where was the ruthless “yes, so?” – Klaas? Or is there a split personality? A Dr Dijk and Mr Hoff, as in the classic novel Dr Jekyll & mr Hyde? Did we look at the humane doctor Dijk here and would he again be cruel with populist nonsense in The Hague tomorrow as Mister Hoff? Someone from the audience asked about his personal struggles, but even then there was no clear answer, but a nice presentation about the importance of democracy that could have been told by a guest lecturer from Prodemos or a similar institute.

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