Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 11:31
Gov't formation without Royal help "worth repeating": report
The government formation of 2012, for the first time outside of the head of state, had "transparency" and is "worth repeating". This is according to a committee that evaluated the last government formation by order of the Second Chamber. The committee, formed by the Nijmegen scientist Paul Bovend'Eert, Carla van Baalen and Alexander van Kessel, also concludes, that the king must be better informed. Should a future formation run into trouble, the group leaders must come up with a solution themselves. "Falling back" on the king to break a deadlock, should be avoided. In March 2012 the Chamber changed its own Rules of Procedure. After elections the head of state would no longer designate formateurs, but the Chamber would do that itself. Eight days after the election in the autumn of 2012, the new Chamber was installed and VVD leader Henk Kamp and former PvdA leader Wouter Bos started working as formateurs. There was great consternation when Kamp and Bos still visited Queen Beatrix in September. The new Chamber president Anouchka van Miltenburg even had to call all the group leaders together to calm everyone down. Assurances was made that the visit was a courtesy call in which "content or time frame of the formation" was discussed. The committee now states that the "information right of the king should be better implemented". As a member of the government and as head of state he should be "regularly and accurately" informed of the progress in a formation. He should also be offered the final report. According to the committee, this must not mean that the Chamber can run to the king to break a deadlock. If the formation runs to ground, the Chamber must fix it themselves, and not "mix" the old and new formation process. Another interesting finding concerns the role of the First Chamber. "It is striking that the formation command was not, as in previous years, aimed at the formation of a cabinet that will be able to count on a fruitful cooperation with the representation of the people." This refers to the States General, the First Chamber and the Second Chamber. The lack of a majority in the Senate suggested problems. The committee therefore concludes that is is desirable "in the formation of a coalition government taking into account the fact that majority support in the First chamber is needed during the term of government".