Dutch PM not running for fifth term

World Monday 10/July/2023 15:13 PM
By: DW
Dutch PM not running for fifth term

Amsterdam: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced he will not seek a fifth term in office during the November elections sparked by his government's resignation.

Rutte, the Netherlands' longest-serving leader, said on Monday he will retire from Dutch politics following the November election.

"In recent days there's been a lot of speculation about what motivated me. The only answer is the Netherlands," Rutte said in a speech in parliament.

His government resigned on Friday after failing to reach an agreement on stricter immigration policies.

Rutte is the leader of the centre-right VVD party, the largest in the four-party coalition. The collapse of his fourth cabinet came after just a year and a half in office.

He will stay in as caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed after the election, often a lengthy business in the Netherlands.

What was the migration dispute about?
Rutte had wanted to tighten curbs on reuniting families of asylum seekers, following a scandal last year about overcrowded asylum centers.

Tensions came to a head this week when Rutte demanded support for a proposal to limit the arrival of children of war refugees who are already in the Netherlands.

The proposal would also make families wait at least two years before they can be reunited.

Two junior partners, the Christian Democratic Christen Unie and left-leaning D66, were staunchly opposed to the proposal.

The Netherlands already has one of Europe's toughest immigration policies.

Asylum applications jumped by a third last year, and the government has projected they could top 70,000 this year — above the previous high of 2015.