Amsterdam Mayor Eberhart van der Laan, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Police Chief Gerard Bouman and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten at the Charlie Hebdo rally in Dam Square. Jan 9, 2015 (photo: NL Times / Zack Newmark) - Credit: Amsterdam Mayor Eberhart van der Laan, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Police Chief Gerard Bouman and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten at the Charlie Hebdo rally in Dam Square. Jan 9, 2015 (photo: NL Times / Zack Newmark)
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 - 13:11
Rumors of justice minister's early exit heat up
Will security and justice minister Ivo Opstelten be stepping down after the council elections on March 18? That question has been buzzing around the Binnenhof. The minister denies claims of a departure and, according to his party, the VVD is not discussing a replacement. But behind the scenes, the liberals are contemplating the position, reports De Telegraaf, citing two potential successors: Ard van der Steur and Fred Teeven. Even within his own department, there is speculation about Opstelten's departure. And there too the name of Van der Steur, currently a member of parliament for the VVD, is on the lips of many. According to state secretary Fred Teeven, Opstelten's departure is not the subject of discussion. But De Telegraaf says that the Binnenhof knows Teeven wants to take the leading role at the ministry of security and justice. Minister Opstelten turns 71 years old on Saturday. According to De Telegraaf, within VVD circles it is said that the party will not force Opstelten to leave. Opstelten has come increasingly under fire in the Second Chamber recently. According to de Volkskrant, he is seen mainly as the man who lost the thread in the debate on terrorism, the man that the Second Chamber finds rather confused. Parliament members have openly asked for some time whether he is not too old to control the intricate ministry of security and justice.