Rutte’s Departure Is Shaking Up Dutch Politics

Rutte’s Departure Is Shaking Up Dutch Politics
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives at a European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2023 (NurPhoto photo by Nicolas Economou via AP Images).

When Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in July that he was stepping down and leaving politics, he unleashed a chain reaction of resignations and political realignments in the Netherlands. With new elections now scheduled for November, the outcome of that scramble is still playing out.

The longest-serving prime minister in Dutch history, Rutte has so dominated his party—the center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, or VVD—that his impending withdrawal from the arena left no immediately apparent successor. And the VVD has for so long had the upper hand in Dutch politics that the transition to the post-Rutte era has upended the national political landscape, opening the way for a new generation of leaders and, ultimately, a new prime minister.

Rutte’s decision didn’t just leave the Netherlands in search of a prime minister. It also forced the VVD to find a new leader. Considering there was no obvious successor—one reason Rutte was able to maintain control over the party for so long—it was surprising that the VVD managed to settle so fast on its candidate for prime minister come November. Perhaps even more surprising, it chose not only a woman, but also a refugee born in a Muslim country for the top spot.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.