Christian party only option in Dutch govt. formation: negotiator

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Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst). (Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst))

A coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie is the only majority variant with which the government formation talks can continue, mediator Edith Schippers said on Monday afternoon after again speaking to party leaders, NOS reports.

According to her, a weekend of reflection only delivered one new option - D66 leader Alexander Pechtold suggested a coalition of VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA - but this was immediately rejected. The SP still refuses to work with the VVD. And the PvdA insists on being part of the opposition this term, after the party lost 29 parliamentary seats in the election. 

Pechtold is hesitant about working with the ChristenUnie, as the two parties differ massively on medical-ethics topics such as assisted suicide and regulated cannabis cultivation. ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers said that he is willing to accept an invitation to negotiate, and he will discuss the complicated topics, but then everyone else must be happy with it. 

According to Schippers, both Pechtold and Segers told her that they are willing to consider a VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie coalition if all other variants are off the table. She emphasized that this really is the case - all possible majority coalitions have been ruled out, this is the only one left.

Pechtold and Segers will discuss this with their factions on Tuesday. 

Schippers acknowledged that the situation is very complicated. She expects the D66 and ChristenUnie leaders will agree "with fierce reluctance". She added she would like to send the report of her second round of formation "exploration" to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, by the end of Tuesday.

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