Opposition parties satisfied with PM Rutte's decision to leave politics
The opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, are satisfied with Mark Rutte’s announcement that he would not return as VVD leader in the upcoming elections and would leave politics once a new Cabinet is installed. Rutte announced these intentions at the start of a parliamentary debate on his fourth Cabinet’s collapse on Friday. GroenLinks, PvdA, and PVV won’t file a motion of no confidence against Rutte as they planned.
PVV leader Geert Wilders, who often called for Rutte’s immediate resignation over the years, said the outgoing Prime Minister made a “brave decision.” He said that he “respects” that Rutte tried his best for the Netherlands. “I’d have made different choices on almost everything, but I am convinced he thought he was doing his best for the Netherlands.”
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver spoke of “a historic moment” and said he respects Rutte’s decision. Now that it is clear that Rutte will step down once a new Cabinet is in office, Klaver has confidence that he can lead the caretaker Cabinet in the coming period, he said in parliament.
PvdA leader Attje Kuiken said she has mixed feelings about Rutte’s departure. She still believes that he “recklessly” plunged his Cabinet into a crisis over the asylum policy. However, she is also grateful for his years as Prime Minister and respects his decision to step down, she said.
BBB leader Caroline van der Plas told NOS she was surprised by Rutte’s announcement. “A very wise decision,” she said on Twitter. Her party won massively in the Provincial States elections earlier this year and is expected to achieve similar results in the parliamentary elections following the Cabinet’s collapse.
SP leader Lilian Marijnissen also spoke of a wise decision. “It will be good for the Netherlands,” she told NOS. Sylvana Simons of BIJ1 called it “good news.”
Farid Zarkan of DENK called it “the correct decision at the wrong time,” saying that Rutte should have resigned much earlier.