Coalition talks continue: Liberal, Christian Dems, D66, Green government discussed

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.

On Monday the leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 all indicated that they are up for forming a government together. But as those three parties don't have a majority in seats, a fourth party is needed. VVD leader Mark Rutte left a possible fourth party in the air, mentioning SP, GroenLinks, ChristenUnie and PvdA. CDA leader Sybrand Buma said that GroenLinks and ChristenUnie should be considered. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that GroenLinks should be the party that brings the coalition a majority.

As the most mentioned party, and the party that won the most seats in the election, GroenLinks and party leader Jesse Klaver are therefore part of today's coalition discussion. 

While the coalition exploration seems to be progressing swiftly, the negotiations are far from over. The D66 is enthusiastic about working with GroenLinks, but the VVD and CDA will be less so. In content the three parties differ greatly on, for example, climate, tax and asylum seekers. 

Gert-Jan Segers and his ChristenUnie is another possibility for the fourth party in the coalition, though he stated that largest party VVD and seat winners CDA, D66 and GroenLinks should be given preference. But if it does come to forming a coalition with the ChristenUnie, there will be hard negotiations ahead with the D66. The ChristenUnie is strictly opposed to regulated cannabis cultivation and assisted suicide at the end of a full life, two topics the D66 has been vehemently fighting for over the past years. 

Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks suggested a "Christian progressive" coalition with the CDA, D66, PvdA, SP, GroenLinks and ChristenUnie. PVV leader Geert Wilders wants a right-wing cabinet with the VVD, CDA, PVV, 50Plus, SGP and FvD. But both these options seem very unlikely. CDA leader Buma is against the "Christian progressive" coalition, which takes a large number of seats away from it. And the VVD and CDA both stated that they won't work with the PVV, which leaves Wilders' right-wing coalition with a solid minority in parliament. 

As coalition scout Schippers will write a report about the most promising coalition formations. She hopes to have this report ready by Wednesday, so that it can be debated in parliament on Thursday. The coalition report will be the first topic the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will debate in its new formation. Departing parliamentarians are saying goodbye on Wednesday and the new parliamentarians will be sworn in on Thursday. 

The Dutch electoral council Kiesraad is announcing the official election results at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. Little change is expected from the projections. The final projection has the VVD as the largest party with 33 seats and the PVV in second place with 20 seats. Then follows the CDA and D66 with 19 seats each and the SP and GroenLinks with 14 each.