Christian Union leader leaves Dutch politics

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Christian Union leader and former Dutch deputy prime minister André Rouvoet is leaving politics after 17 years. Mr Rouvoet announced the news via Twitter on Friday morning. Senior Christian Union MP Arie Slob will succeed Mr Rouvoet as party leader.

André Rouvoet has led the fringe opposition Christian Union from 2002. From 2007 until last year, he served as minister of youth and family and deputy prime minister in the last cabinet led by former Christian Democrat premier Jan Peter Balkenende. After the fall of that cabinet, he was appointed as minister of education, culture and science. With the expiration of his term, he moved back to parliament.

His announcement comes amid intense discussion about the future image and course of the Christian Union. Under fire from large sections within his party, Mr Rouvoet indicated he no longer has the energy and commitment to spearhead change. He added that he intends to spend more time with his family, friends and the Church.

Mr Rouvoet is the fifth party leader to leave Dutch politics in just over a year.





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