Plasterk does well, back at work soon

THE HAGUE–Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk is recovering well from his heart operation and is expected back at work in a week’s time. However, he will not be running on the slate of the Labour Party PvdA in the March 2017 elections.

Plasterk had a heart operation on one of his cardiac valves late June, and has been recovering since. He has been replaced since the end of June by Minister of Housing and the General Government Sector Stef Blok of the Liberal Democratic VVD party.

Minister Blok stated on Friday that Plasterk was doing well and that Plasterk aimed to be present on Budget Day (Prinsjesdag) on Tuesday, September 20. Plasterk’s spokesperson confirmed on Friday that Plasterk intended to be back at work next week Friday, September 16, the day for which a Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting has been scheduled.

One thing is certain: Plasterk will not be returning as a candidate on the PvdA slate for the March 2017 elections for a new Second Chamber. “He is now 59 years old and he doesn’t know as yet what he will be doing after this cabinet period,” said his spokesperson on Friday. The PvdA is currently putting its slate together for the next elections. During the last two elections, Plasterk was number three on the PvdA slate.

At this stage it is not clear whether Plasterk will return in a next cabinet. He is keeping his options open and does not know as yet what he will be doing after the term of this cabinet ends. By the time the current cabinet resigns to make way for a new cabinet, Plasterk will have been in national politics in The Hague for 10 years.

The spokesperson said that a decision on the participation in a next government was not relevant at this time, also because the current Council of Ministers might have to stay on until next summer when a new government has been appointed. “The only decision that needed to be taken now regarded the possible candidacy for the Second Chamber.”

This is Plasterk’s second term as Minister. Between 2007 and 2010, he was Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Balkenende IV cabinet. In November 2012, Plasterk was appointed Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations in the Rutte II Cabinet. Between the two functions as Minister, he was a Member of the Second Chamber for the PvdA where he was the party’s spokesperson on finance.

Source: Daily Herald
Plasterk does well, back at work soon