After a week of government formation negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, it is still uncertain whether these four parties will manage to form a cabinet together. "There is absolutely no prospect of a result on any subject. We are not close to that phase yet", negotiation leader Edith Schippers said in a press conference on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
The first formal and substantive negotiations for forming a government with the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks start at 9:30 this morning. The parties will try to find common ground and make agreements on a number of major issues, including employment, income distribution, the tax system, the energy transition and the environment, security and defense, immigration and integration, education and healthcare, NOS reports.
After talking with all 13 elected party leaders on Monday, "coalition scout" Edith Schippers will be meeting with the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks today to discuss a possible coalition, RTL Nieuws reports.
After all of the larger parties' leaders gave their coalition wishes through to coalition scout Edith Schippers, it is clear that the CDA, D66 and VVD are all willing to work together. A fourth party will be needed to give the coalition a majority, and the most likely candidates seem to be GroenLinks and ChristenUnie. So far the PVV hasn't been mentioned in any ideal cabinet, except on the PVV's own wish list. Leader Geert Wilders called it "undemocratic and unmarketable" if his party is not part of the coalition negotiations, the Volkskrant reports.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte would like to form a cabinet consisting of his VVD, the CDA and D66, he said on Monday after discussing coalition possibilities with Edith Schippers. "Given the election results", these parties need to take governmental responsibility, he said, but added that "it also depends on what the parties themselves want", NU.nl reports.
After a night of celebrations or condolences following the parliamentary election on Wednesday, the Dutch political party leaders are gathering in parliament to discuss the election results and start the massive task of creating a new government. GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver thinks it will be "difficult" to for his party to form a coalition party with the VVD, the biggest party after the election, but he is willing to consider it, the Telegraaf reports.
Many of the political party leaders already cast their votes in the parliamentary election in the Netherlands this morning. D66 leader Alexander was the first party leader to do so. He voted in his hometown of Wageningen, NOS reports.
According to Pechtold, today is an exciting day. "There are four parties that can become the biggest and of those the D66 is the most progressive", he said to the broadcaster. He plans to hand out some more flyers during the day.
Thirteen party leaders clashed on Tuesday night in the final election debate on NOS, the last chance for the party leaders to sway voters before the election. Topics ranged from income inequality to Dutch identity. And after an entire election campaign of being calm and being nice, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher went on the attack, NU.nl reports.
On Saturday party leaders Alexander Pechtold (D66), Sybrand Buma (CDA), Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), Mark Rutte (VVD), Geert Wilders (PVV) and Emile Roemer (SP) debated policy, explained what topics they find important and played games on kids TV show NOS Jeugdjournaal.
The debate was done by means of a quartet. Each party leader could chose a theme and a topic, such as "healthcare" and "costs". And then they could briefly and simply explain what they find important on that topic.
SGP party leader Kees van der Staaij brutally attacked the D66 and its leader Alexander Pechtold in the Christian debate in Ede on Thursday. Van der Staaij compared Pechtold's "radical secular ideology" with radical Islam, BNR reports.
The Christian party leader debate in Ede on Thursday evening was guarded by heavily armed police officers due to a "threat". The debate in the CineMec finished without incident, AD reports.
Several police units responded to the CineMec on Thursday night. Heavily armed officers stood in front of the building, two riot police vans were on site and policemen with machine guns and bulletproof vests were on the building's roof, according to the newspaper.
Left- and right wing parties clashed fiercely over the retirement age, healthcare deductibles and the Dutch identity in the televised debate between eight party leaders in the Carré in Amsterdam on Sunday. With only 9 days to go until the parliamentary election, party leaders are pressured to create some movement in the polls, which have been quiet over the past weeks.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver and SP leader Emile Roemer could not agree on whether the VVD should or should not be excluded from forming a new government after the parliamentary elections on March 15th. During the first televised debate for the upcoming elections, Roemer called on Klaver to clearly state whether GroenLinks and the VVD would form a coalition. Klaver said he can not rule out that possibility, AD reports.
Broadcaster RTL decided to go through with the "Premier debate" later this month despite the VVD and PVV refusing their invitations. RTL initially decided to cancel the election debate after Geert Wilders and Mark Rutte said they wouldn't participate. But a massive outcry from viewers and other political parties made them change their mind.
VVD leader Mark Rutte and PVV leader Geert Wilders both decided to withdraw from the "premier debate" scheduled to air on RTL on February 26th. Both blame the broadcaster for their withdrawal, saying that RTL broke the agreements by inviting five parties to the debate instead of four.
Opposition parties and even coalition party PvdA have nothing but criticism for current Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte's "if you don't like it here, then get out" election campaign. PvdA leader and current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called Rutte a poor substitute for a populist and accused him of sowing cynicism, while people who are dissatisfied should in fact work to improve the situation, NOS reports.
A proposal by VNL to scrap the ban on group defamation, hate speech and discrimination from the Penal Code was rejected by a majority in Dutch parliament on Thursday. A large majority of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, found the proposal not well thought out as it opens the door to discrimination directed at vulnerable groups such as Jews, Muslims, women, LGBT and disabled people, NU.nl reports.
The chairman of Turkish-Dutch mosque umbrella organization Diyanet collected names of people who sympathize with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and passed it on to the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the chairman himself admitted in an interview with the Telegraaf.
PVV leader Geert Wilders thinks that Donald Trump's "historic victory" will change the way politics work forever. "Politics will never be the same, take it from me", he said to NOS.
The Dutch government wants to adjust the Euthanasia Act so that people who aren't sick, but feel that their life is completed, can end their lives with assisted suicide. This will only be allowed under "strict and rigorous criteria", the government wrote to parliament. The majority of parliamentarians support the plan.
The CDA wants to be harsher towards criminals in the Netherlands, party leader Sybrand Buma said on Friday. For one thing, the Christian Democratic party wants repeat offenders to have their punishments doubled
Prime Minister Mark Rutte faced a lot criticism from opposition parties during the second day of the Budget Debate in parliament on Thursday. Much of the angry words centered around the Prime Minister's statement regarding troublemakers among the young Turkish-Dutch community following an attempted coup in Turkey in July
During the first day of the Budget Debate in Dutch parliament, party leaders focused more on each other than on the Budget and the government's plans for next year. The looming elections played a large roll in the debate
Leaders of the opposition parties in the Netherlands reacted critically to both the National Budget for next year and the King's Budget Day speech. In the General Debate in parliament on Tuesday, the party leaders called it "bragging" and a "good news show"