Tuesday 22 September 2020

Sigrid Kaag wins D66 leadership contest by a landslide

Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl

Sigrid Kaag has been chosen as the new leader of Liberal democratic party D66 with 95.7% of the vote, and will lead the party into the 2021 general election.

Kaag, who is trade minister in the current coalition government, had one challenger – Ton Visser – who was never considered a serious opponent.

Kaag, 58, said when she decided to stand for the party leadership that she wanted to be prime minister. ‘If you join in, you have to go for the highest office,’ she said.

Kaag was a career diplomat before being asked to take the trade job on behalf of D66 after the 2017 general election. At the time she had little political experience but a long career at the UN. She speaks six languages, including Arabic, and has lived in Switzerland, Jordan,the US and Lebanon.

Her name had circulated as a potential leader since Alexander Pechtold stood down in 2018. Rob Jetten has led the parliamentary party since then but in June said he had decided not to stand for the leadership job.

Her first public performance as party leader will be at the D66 conference on Saturday.

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