Dutch PM: New govt to bind left- and right-wing politics together

Mark Rutte, January 2016
Mark Rutte, January 2016Photo: EU2016 NL / Wikimedia Commons

The leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 want the next cabinet to bind "left and right" together, VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday afternoon after the three leaders spoke with formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink, AD reports.

Which fourth party will join the 'engine block' of VVD, CDA and D66 - and thereby give them a majority in parliament and the senate - is still unclear. According to Rutte, this is a "sensitive" topic. The link between left-wing and right-wing politics must be shown in content, he said. "The composition can help with that."

Tjeenk Willink instructed the 'engine block' parties to first determine whether and how a bridge can be made to a possible fourth partner, which can join the talks later. 

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold insisted on a link between progressive and conservative in the new cabinet. He feared that his D66 will be the only left-wing party in a right-leaning government. If the D66 is going to be part of the next government, progressive and conservative parties must be in balance, he said. "That equilibrium I want to ab-so-lute-ly see", he said, according to AD. 

Whether a balanced cabinet is still possible, remains to be seen. The break with GroenLinks is definite. The PVV and SP were also ruled out. That means that the only combination for a four party majority cabinet left, with the 'engine block', is either with the PvdA or ChristenUnie. But neither party is eager to join the talks. ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers will only join if all the other parties find it "desirable", which is not the case with the D66. And PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher does not want to rule at all, after his party lost 29 seats in the election.

Segers was also not happy with the decision that the VVD, CDA and D66 will continue on their own for now, and a fourth party join in later. "They three are now tinkering on something that a fourth party has to fall in with", he said to AD. "Then the playing field is not level. We are not an in-between, not an addition to bring three parties up to 76 seats."


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