VVD parliamentarian André Bosman has withdrawn his candidacy for leadership of the right-wing Liberal VVD, clearing the way for justice minister Dilan Yesilgöz who put herself forward last week.
Yesilgöz is also the party board’s preferred candidate.
Bosman said the endorsement of the party was instrumental in his decision to step down. It is not in the interests of the VVD to hold a leadership contest, he said.
Other candidates have until mid August to come forward.
In other party news, Lilianne Marijnissen will lead the SP into the election campaign, even though the party lost five of its 14 seats under her leadership at the 2021 election.
Esther Ouwehand seems set to head up the Partij voor de Dieren campaign for a second time and Mirjam Bikker has been confirmed as leader of ChristenUnie.
Bikker is the only leader of the four coalition parties who will take part in the campaign ahead of the November 22 vote. Mark Rutte (VVD), Sigrid Kaag (D66) and Wopke Hoekstra (CDA) are all standing down.
Carola Schouten, the current anti-poverty minister on behalf of the CU, has also announced she is leaving politics once a new government has been formed.
Labour and GroenLinks members are meeting on Monday afternoon to decide if they support their party leaderships’ plans to have a joint campaign and manifesto this time round.
An early opinion poll by Maurice de Hond at the weekend suggested the VVD, pro-farming BBB and the PvdA/Groenlinks slate could all end up with 25 seats in parliament after the November vote.
The poll is the first to be published since the cabinet collapsed and Rutte said he was leaving politics.
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