Edith Schippers calls for new govt. formation mediator; Herman Tjeenk Willink proposed

Edith_Schippers_op_Prinsjesdag_2014
Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps). (Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps))

Edith Schippers thinks it is time for a new mediator to be appointed in the government formation talks, she wrote in a final report just submitted to parliament president Khadija Arib, NOS reports. She proposed Herman Tjeenk Willink for the job.

Tjeenk Willink is the former vice president of the Council of State. As mediator his job will be to investigate whether a government can be formed with a majority in both the Tweede Kamer and Eerste Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament and the Dutch Senate.

Schippers worked as mediator of the talks since the election results were announced in March. But the negotiations have been stranded for two weeks. The plan was for a four party coalition with an engine of VVD, CDA and D66 plus a fourth party to make up the majority. In the first weeks after the election, GroenLinks took part in negotiations as the fourth party, but talks collapsed because GroenLinks could not agree on the other parties' plans for the migration policy.

ChristenUnie was then proposed as the fourth party, but those talks stranded even before the negotiations formally began. After a conversation between D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, the parties decided that the differences between them are too large.

Other possibilities include the SP, which refuses to work with the VVD, and the PvdA, which refuses to be part of the cabinet following the party's massive loss in the election. 

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