Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Wouter Bos (born July 14th 1963) is a Dutch politician who is currently leader of the Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) and member of parliament. His was Minister of Finance in the second cabinet of Wim Kok (also known as Paars-II).
Bos was born in Vlaardingen. He finished two Master degrees, economics and politics, cum laude, at the Vrije Universiteit. From 1986 till 1996 he worked for Royal Dutch/Shell in various positions. In 1996 he became member of parliament.
Bos became party leader of the PvdA after an interparty election (other candidates: Jeltje van Nieuwenhoven , Klaas de Vries en Jouke de Vries ) in November 2002. Former party leader Ad Melkert resigned after dramatical outcome of the elections of May 2002 in the Netherlands. Melkert, the 'Crown Prince of the PvdA' (the then prime minister, Wim Kok was the 'King') became World Bank Executive Director.
The PvdA went into opposition for the first time since 1989, when the party formed a coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDA) and PvdA party leader Wim Kok became Minister of Finance. In 1994 he became prime minister in a PvdA-VVD-D66 cabinet (Kok-I), then without CDA.
When the first Balkenende cabinet disintegrated, Bos challenged Jan Peter Balkenende. In the new elections of January 2003, Bos nearly became leader of the biggest party, as the PvdA regained much of the seats lost in the May 2002 elections. Balkenende and the CDA got forty four seats and the PvdA got forty two seats, partly, it is claimed, to Bos's charisma. From first party due to Kok and fourth party due to Melkert, the PvdA came second, and even close to first again, due to Bos. The elections were partly characterized by comments of a journalist about his "sexy ass."
But Bos did not succeed in forming a coalition government of CDA and PvdA. The CDA preferred a coalition with VVD and this time with D66. Now Bos is opposition leader in the Dutch parliament, although his moderacy repeatedly gives lead to other parties claiming opposition leadership. Although still enjoying large public support, criticism about his "style over substance" approach to politics made that he was elected as the most overrated politician in the Netherlands.
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