Four Political Parties Agree To Build Coalition, New Dutch Cabinet Records Record Number Of Women In Government
An illustration of PM Mark Rutte's third cabinet with King Willem-Alexander. (Wikimedia Commons/Valerie Kuypers)

JAKARTA - The new Dutch government will set a new record for the number of female officials after a coalition of political parties published a list of ministers and cabinet secretaries on Sunday.

As quoted from Al Jazeera on January 3, as many as 14 of the 29 ministers and secretaries of state in the new government are women, including 10 of the 20 ministers.

The four-party coalition, which will be sworn in on January 10 after reaching an agreement in December, a record 271 days after a general election in March, is the fourth government under Prime Minister, Mark Rutte.

Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius, born in Ankara, will become a justice and security minister. The woman, who came to the Netherlands as a girl, was nominated by the centre-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), of which PM Rutte is also from.

Meanwhile, the current Minister of the Interior, Kajsa Ollongren, will be the new defense minister. The Christian Democrat politician Wopke Hoekstra will be the new Foreign Minister.

Next, there are also the names of female ministers such as Wopke Hoekstra and Sigrid Kaag who are also included in the government.

The finance minister's appointment was closely watched as the Netherlands is seen as one of the "four frugal" member states of the European Union, with Austria, Denmark, and Sweden clashing with other countries over the EU budget.

A former Arabic-speaking diplomat, Kaag is a rare example of a Dutch politician who was known better abroad than at home.

He served as the UN's special coordinator for Lebanon from 2015-2017, and before that led the UN team overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, Ernst Kuipers, who is responsible for moving coronavirus patients across the country, will replace Hugo de Jonge as health minister.

To note, the parties have agreed to invest billions in the fight against climate change and to reform housing and social policies.

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