Mediator to resign in Dutch govt formation talks; Fmr. ABN Amro CEO expected successor: report

Herman Tjeenk Willink is resigning as mediator in the Dutch government formation negotiations, sources reported to De Telegraaf on Monday. It is believed that Gerrit Zalm, former VVD Finance Minister and former CEO at ABN Amro, will succeed him, according to the newspaper.

Tjeenk Willink took over from Edith Schippers as mediator late in May, after the first set of negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks stranded. He restarted negotiations with the four parties, but the second round also failed. 

After investigating all other possible four-party combinations for a majority government in both the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer, Tjeenk Willink concluded that the only possibility left is the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie. Those four parties agreed to negotiate on Friday.

Tjeenk Willink now feels that someone else should oversee the next step in negotiations, according to the newspaper. He will send his final report to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, on Tuesday. The report will likely be debated on Wednesday. 

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