Impasse looming in Dutch government: Christian party leader

CDA leader Sybrand Buma

Multiple attempts to get a second round of government formation talks going, failed to get off the ground. The forming of a new Dutch cabinet is now facing a looming stalemate, CDA leader Sybrand Buma warns. "The situation is now in danger of creating an impasse as parties say they don't want to participate, or won't participate in certain compositions", he said after his second meeting in as many days with negotiation mediator Edith Schippers, reports. 

Buma suggested that Schippers jointly invite the VVD, CDA, D66 and SP to talk about forming a government together. "I think that is the most logical variant", he said. But SP leader Emile Roemer still refuses to even consider working with the VVD.

At 8:00 p.m. on Thursday Roemer had an appointment to see Schippers. He was out again 10 minutes later. The SP ruled out working with the VVD in the election campaign, and Roemer repeated that message multiple times over the past days. He wants Schippers to organize a conversation between the CDA, D66 and SP to avoid an impasse. Ideally he wants GroenLinks, PvdA and ChristenUnie to join and create a six party center-left cabinet without the VVD. "That option still hasn't been investigated", Roemer said after his short meeting with Schippers. 

Buma thinks the formation process is way past the point where parties can simply be excluded. "The day that we could say: we don't want to or we don't want to in that composition, is really over", he said, according to the newspaper. He also repeated that he doesn't see any hope for Roemer's central-left proposal. "That six-party cabinet exists only in the head of Emile Roemer, and it does not help the Netherlands any further."

Formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed on Monday. This happened after GroenLinks reached its "critical lower limit" on the topic of migration. None of the party leaders would give any details, but NRC claims the talks fell apart over a proposed asylum deal with northern African countries, which would keep asylum seekers in northern Africa in exchange for money for regional shelters.

The most likely scenario is that the remaining three parties will continue discussions with the ChristenUnie, according to But D66 leader Alexander Pechtold is not very confident that this will succeed. "I will make serious efforts. I just see little chance of succeeding with a party like ChristenUnie", Pechtold said. 

The PvdA is also an option for pushing a four-party cabinet to a parliamentary majority. But after losing 29 parliamentary seats in the elections, the party is not considering being part of the next government.