Alexander Pechtold

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Alexander Pechtold
Pechtold 29 03 048b (2).jpg
Member of the House of Representatives
Incumbent
Assumed office
November 30, 2006
Parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66 in the House of Representatives
Incumbent
Assumed office
November 23, 2006
Preceded by Lousewies van der Laan
Party leader of the Democrats 66
Incumbent
Assumed office
June 24, 2006
Preceded by Lousewies van der Laan (Ad interim)
Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations
In office
March 31, 2005 – July 3, 2006
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Preceded by Thom de Graaf
Succeeded by Atzo Nicolaï
Mayor of Wageningen
In office
October 1, 2003 – March 31, 2005
Preceded by Geke Faber
Succeeded by Geert van Rumund
Party chair of the Democrats 66
In office
November 16, 2002 – March 31, 2005
Leader Thom de Graaf (2002-2003)
Boris Dittrich (2003-2005)
Preceded by Gerard Schouw
Succeeded by Frank Dales
Personal details
Born Alexander Pechtold
(1965-12-16) December 16, 1965 (age 48)
Delft, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Democrats 66
Spouse(s) Froukje Idema (m. 1997)
Children 2
Residence Wageningen, Netherlands
Alma mater Leiden University (Master of Arts)
Occupation Politician
Auctioneer
Religion None (Non-religious)[1]

Alexander Pechtold (born December 16, 1965) is a Dutch politician of the Democrats 66 (D66) party. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 30 November 2006 as well as Parliamentary group leader since 23 November 2006. He has also been party leader since 24 June 2006. Pechtold served as Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations in the Cabinet Balkenende II from 31 March 2005 to 3 July 2006, following the resignation of D66 party leader Thom de Graaf. Before entering into national politics he was mayor of Wageningen from 1 October 2003 to 31 March 2005.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in the city of Delft, Pechtold grew up in the village of Rhoon. Pechtold studied art history and archaeology with a specialization in 17th-century painting at Leiden University, obtaining a Masters degree in 1996. He also obtained a certification as auctioneer and worked for the Van Stockum's Veilingen during his studies. He was elected chairman of D66 in 2002. At that time he was alderman of Leiden, where earlier he functioned as councillor. He was appointed mayor of Wageningen in 2003. In 2005 he became Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations in the second cabinet of Jan Peter Balkenende.

Politics[edit]

Pechtold was the lijsttrekker for D66 in the Dutch elections of 2006, after he beat parliamentary leader Lousewies van der Laan and others in the 2006 D66 leadership election. Pechtold, as well as Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst, resigned from his minister post after the second Balkenende cabinet came in crisis on 29 June 2006. The next day, Balkenende offered the resignation of the full cabinet to Queen Beatrix. In 2007 the parliamentarian press chose Pechtold with 31% of the votes as the "Dutch Politician of the Year 2007".

During the Cabinet Balkenende IV administration Pechtold served as opposition leader against the cabinet. After the Dutch elections of 2010, the D66 won seven-seats in the House of Representatives which reporters claimed was due to Pechtolds leadership during the Balkenende IV time.[2] After the 2010 Dutch cabinet formation the D66 again remained in opposition. In 2012, Pechtold published Henk, Ingrid, & Alexander, which ostensibly aimed to break through the populism that has dominated Dutch politics in the previous decade--"Henk" and "Ingrid" are the generic names proposed by Geert Wilders and other PVV politicians to represent the average Dutch couple—by engaging everyday people in conversation. The book was panned in de Volkskrant as a "cheap PR-stunt without any value to it."[3]

During a debate with Mark Rutte in 2010, Pechtold championed the cause of social liberalism, noting that the government “needs to offer services where fairness is more important than efficiency, such as education and healthcare," while accusing Rutte of pursuing policies that hurt the most vulnerable in Dutch society.[4]

After the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 by Russian-backed separatists in July, 2014, Pechtold explicitly voiced his support for economic expediency over ethical correctness by stating: "We are a small country, dependent on our exports, and unlike the United States, we cannot always react from our moral high grounds." [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Dutch) Slob en Pechtold in gesprek over geloof, Kerknieuws.nl, August 7, 2012
  2. ^ (Dutch) Het Pechtold-effect goed voor D66
  3. ^ Fretz, Johan (8 February 2012). "'Ik mis Hans van Mierlo opeens zo'". de Volkskrant. Retrieved 8 February 2012. "Pechtold kijkt koddig in de lens van de NOS en noemt de populistische titel van zijn boek 'gewoon een knipoog'. Ik vind het een goedkope PR-stunt zonder onderliggende waarde." 
  4. ^ Emilie van Outeren, "Will the real liberal please stand up".
  5. ^ The Netherlands, a Nation in Mourning but Mindful of Ties to Russia

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Gerard Schouw
Party chair of the Democrats 66
2002-2005
Succeeded by
Frank Dales
Preceded by
Lousewies van der Laan (Ad interim)
Party leader of the Democrats 66
2006-
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Lousewies van der Laan
Parliamentary leader of the Democrats 66
in the House of Representatives

2006-
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Government offices
Preceded by
Thom de Graaf
Minister for Government Reform and Kingdom Relations
2005-2006
Succeeded by
Atzo Nicolaï
Political offices
Preceded by
Geke Faber
Mayor of Wageningen
2003-2005
Succeeded by
Geert van Rumund