Formation parties approve new govt. agreement; presented to parliament today
After 208 days of negotiations, the new Dutch government coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie can almost take office. On Monday the negotiators of the four parties presented their new government agreement to their parliamentary factions, and all four parties approved it. It will be presented to the press and the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, later today, according to RTL Nieuws.
On Tuesday morning, the negotiators are meeting with formation mediator Gerrit Zalm to discuss the feedback they received from their parties. Any adjustments suggested will be discussed and made if necessary. The new coalition just barely has a parliamentary majority of 76 out 150 seats. It is therefore important that no unhappy MP leaves his party and that all parliamentarians in the four parties accept the agreement fully.
How long this morning's meeting will take, is not clear. That depends on how many adjustments need to be made. Though the expectation is that no big changes will be needed.
After the meeting, the 61 page long government agreement - which carries the motto Confidence in the future - will be presented to the press and the chairman of the Tweede Kamer. On Wednesday or Thursday, the Kamer will discuss the agreement with the negotiators and mediator Zalm. After that VVD leader Mark Rutte can appoint his 16 Ministers and 9 State Secretaries. This is expected to take a week to a week and a half, according to RTL. If all goes well, the new government can take office in the week of October 23rd.
Who will take which post in the new cabinet is not yet clear. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers already indicated that they will not be Ministers in this cabinet, but will stay in the Tweede Kamer. CDA leader Sybrand Buma is also staying in the Kamer, his party announced on Twitter.
Over the past weeks, numerous plans from the government agreement leaked to the press. A summary of what we know so far, can be found here.