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Green light for coalition government in the Netherlands

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The Freedom Party’s leader Geert Wilders won the election in November, but did not get enough mandates to form a government on his own. The party therefore forms a coalition with three other parties. Photo: Peter Dejong / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 16.05.2024 01:19:28

Policy: The parliamentarians from the four parties gave the green light for the agreement on Wednesday evening, after the four party leaders had done the same earlier on Wednesday.

Details of the agreement had not been made available at midnight. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) said it is not yet clear who will be prime minister of the new coalition government.

– Discussions about the prime minister will be held at a later date, Wilders told the journalists present.

In March, the Freedom Party and the three other parties that are now part of the agreement – the farmers’ party BBB, the newly launched anti-corruption party NSC and outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal party VVD – agreed to form a partial technocrat government consisting of 50 percent politicians and 50 percent people outside of politics.

BBB, NSC and VVD have demanded during the negotiations that Wilders not become prime minister, which he reluctantly agreed to. According to the AFP news agency, it seems that former education and interior minister Ronald Plasterk is the most relevant candidate as the new prime minister. Plasterk played a central role in coordinating the initial coalition talks.

– Well, it took a bit to form this government. Each phase took just a little longer than we thought. But that’s normal, he said.

It has almost become a tradition in Dutch politics that it takes a long time to get new governments in place.

The last time a government was to be formed in the Netherlands, negotiations took 271 days before Mark Rutte could finally become prime minister. He remains in charge of a business ministry until the new coalition government is in place.

The election was held in November. The Freedom Party, which is on the far right wing, became the largest and secured 37 of the National Assembly’s 150 seats. But it was far from enough to get a parliamentary majority.

NSC’s party leader Pieter Omtzigt was asked on Wednesday evening why it has taken almost half a year to get a government in place.

(© NTB)

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