Six MPs in top 10 on list of D66 candidates for general election

Portrait of D66 leader Sigrid Kaag
D66 party leader Sigrid Kaag. Photo:

Coalition party D66 has included six sitting MPs in the top 10 spots on its list of candidates for next year’s general election.

Recently elected party leader Sigrid Kaag heads the list of 65 candidates, followed by parliamentary group leader Rob Jetten. Other MPs with a good chance of keeping their jobs are Jan Paternotte, foreign affairs spokesman Sjoerd Sjoerdsma and Vera Bergkamp.

Current opinion polls suggest the party, which currently has 15 MPs, is on course to win between 11 and 15 seats in March.

The third name on the list is Hanneke van der Werf, chair of the D66 group on The Hague city council, who steered through a parental leave scheme to give new parents working for the municipality the right to stay home for six and a half weeks on full pay.

Tenth place is occupied by junior finance minister Hans Vijlbrief, one of two ministers appointed to reform the tax office in the wake of the child benefits scandal.

Altogether 32 of the 65 candidates are women, 23 have a bicultural or migrant background and 11 are from the LGBT community.

Other prominent names include Jeanet van der Laan, a former international footballer who is now alderman for education in Lisse, Zuid-Holland, in eighth place, defence lawyer Sidney Smeets in 18th, and Lisa van Ginneken, chairman of transgender rights organisation Transvisie, in 20th.

Dutch elections are contested on a party list basis, but voters can choose any candidate on the ballot paper and individual candidates can be pushed up the list if they win enough personal votes.

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