PVV will staff new Immigration Minister; VVD keeps Justice, Finance ministries: Report

THE HAGUE - The PVV will be responsible for the new Minister for Immigration position that will staff the first Cabinet of expected Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof, according to ANP. The minister will be one of five ministerial posts filled by the far-right nationalist party, which surged in campaign leading up to the November election largely by hammering the sitting Cabinet on issues related to immigration, migrants, and asylum. The breakdown of the 16 ministerial posts per party is expected to be confirmed on Wednesday. 

One person rumored to be available for the job is Dutch-Israeli MP Gidi Markuszower, who could also become one of four deputy prime ministers, reported broadcaster NOS. As the largest coalition party, the PVV will supply five ministers in total to its first ever Cabinet. These will include the Minister for Medical Care, which could be MP Fleur Agema, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Minister of Economic Affairs and the Minister of Infrastructure. The PVV will also be responsible for state secretaries handling policy related to healthcare, justice, defense, and climate. 

The VVD will still be in charge of the Ministry of Justice and Security, and could put former Prime Minister Mark Rutte aid David van Weel at the helm. They will also take over the Defense and Finance Ministries from the outgoing D66. These jobs could go to Ruben Brekelmans and Eelco Heinen, respectively. 

The VVD will also provide a climate minister, which could be previous VVD faction leader Sophie Hermans, NOS reported. She may also become a deputy prime minister. The party will also handle state secretary postings at the Ministries of Education and Social Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport. 

Upstart political party NSC will be in charge of domestic and foreign relations, with both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations under their umbrella. Their other two ministers will also run the Ministries of Social Affairs and Education, Culture and Science. 

Current MP Eddy van Hijum is a likely candidate for social affairs and deputy prime minister, Caspar Veldkamp could wind up leading the Foreign Ministry, and Folkert Idsinga could take on a state secretary job at the Ministry of Finance. The party will also be responsible for a state secretary at the Justice Ministry. 

As the smallest of the four coalition partners, the BBB will be allowed to staff two ministers. The party has long coveted the role of Minister of Agriculture, and NOS reported they will get to fill that position. They will also provide a state secretary in that ministry. The BBB will also be responsible for a housing minister and a state secretary within the Ministry of Defense. 

BBB MP Mona Keijzer, who was fired from Mark Rutte's third Cabinet, looks like she could land the job as housing minister and deputy prime minister. She has already said on social media that she will join Schoof's first Cabinet. 

The job interview process has yet to be completed. Each Cabinet position will require a hearing in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament, when each faction can address the candidate with questions. Each of these hearings could take up to three hours. Dutch Cabinet positions where an individual is a "minister of..." refers to a role where the figure oversees an entire ministry, while a "minister for..." is responsible for a specific policy portfolio within another ministry. This individual still is considered a minister, and has a position more senior to the state secretaries. 

Once the Cabinet positions are filled, Schoof's Cabinet will have to get the formal blessing from King Willem-Alexander. He will then swear them in, before the king and his new Cabinet poses for a group photo.