Infrastructure Min., 45, to retire from politics

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Melanie Schultz van Haegen (Photo: Rijksoverheid/Wikimedia Commons). (Melanie Schultz van Haegen (Photo: Rijksoverheid/Wikimedia Commons))

Minister Melanie Schultz van Heagen will not form part of the next cabinet after the elections. The VVD Minister of Infrastructure feel it is time for something new, she said to Dutch newspaper AD on Friday.

Schultz has been part of five cabinets since 2002. She served three terms as State Secretary and two as Minister. She's currently the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment.

According to Schultz, withdrawing from the government after the 2017 elections was not a spur of the moment decision. "I've known this for a long time", she said to the newspaper. "Three times I've been a State Secretary and minister in two cabinets. It's good to go do something different. This is a beautiful and honorable job, but it's time for new people in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment"

The VVD politician hasn't given her future job much thought. She's giving the Ministry her full attention until the end of the cabinet's term - March 2017 if all goes well. "I am confident that something beautiful will cross my path. There is much to do in the world and the Netherlands."

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment was in the news last year when State Secretary Wilma Mansveld resigned over her roll in the so-called Fyra debacle - a never quite realized high-speed train network in the country. A report on the debacle found that Mansveld gave the Kamer "untimely, incomplete or inaccurate" information on what was going on in the project - something that is considered a mortal sin in The Hague.

Sharon Dijksma, formerly the State Secretary of Economic Affairs, took over from Mansveld. The Economic Affairs position was filled by Martijn van Dam.

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