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Netherlands' Ex-Intelligence Chief Confirms He Was Offered Post of Prime Minister - Reports

© AFP 2023 / RAMON VAN FLYMENDick Schoof
Dick Schoof  - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.05.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Former Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service Director-General Dick Schoof has acknowledged that he had been asked to be the next prime minister of the Netherlands, The NL Times has reported.
Dutch media reported on Tuesday that the new Dutch coalition government, which includes the Party for Freedom (PVV), the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the New Social Contract party (NSC) and the Farmer-Citizen Movement party (BBB), planned to nominate Schoof as the next Dutch prime minister.
The report said on Tuesday that Schoof, 67, is likely to take office on June 26. The newspaper cited the ex-intelligence chief as saying that he plans to be a leader for the entire country and remain "partyless" while in office.
The prime minister is traditionally chosen as a member of the largest party in a coalition, which is currently the PVV led by Geert Wilders, the newspaper reported, adding that Schoof said he will not be "dragged to an extremist stance."
"For me, this is a very intense moment. I never would have expected to be asked; to stand here is an honor. It's very special, and I'm well-aware that the prime minister of the Netherlands is an intense job," the report quoted Schoof as telling a press briefing.
Dutch broadcaster RTL Nieuws reported in mid-May, citing sources, that former Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk, who acted as a mediator at the beginning of negotiations on the current coalition, could be the most likely candidate for the post of prime minister. Plasterk was the minister of the interior and kingdom relations in the second cabinet of incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte from 2012 to 2017 and served as the minister of education, culture and science in the cabinet of then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende from 2007 to 2010. However, the official announced earlier in May that he was not ready to lead the new Dutch government.
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