Hague opposition calls coalition's collapse the "only logical decision"

The Hague city hall
The Hague city hall. (Photo: Guernaoui/Wikimedia Commons)

The collapse of the Den Haag coalition of Groep de Mos/Hart voor Den Haag (GDM), VVD, D66 and GroenLinks in the midst of a corruption scandal was "the only logical and right decision", according to the opposition parties in the city. During a debate on Wednesday, the city council adopted a motion of no confidence against GDM aldermen Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui, who are suspected of accepting bribes for issuing permits.

Earlier on Wednesday, the VVD, D66 and GroenLinks also said they no longer had confidence in GDM, collapsing the coalition. De Mos and Geurnaoui temporarily stepped down on Tuesday, at the request of mayor Pauline Krikke. The three former coalition parties submitted the motion of no confidence against De Mos and Geurnaoui during a city council debate on Wednesday evening, in case they refused to resign definitely, NU.nl reports. 

Mayor Krikke said that the VVD - her own party - would likely try to form a new coalition. In a joint statement the VVD, D66 and GroenLinks said that after forming a new coalition "a lot of work must be done on a stable city government that can count on a majority in the Hague city council". In principle, a coalition with a minority seats in the city council can be formed, but it will then require support from the opposition parties.

The coalition held 26 of 45 city council seats, according to the Den Haag government website. GDM represents eight of those, the VVD has seven, D66 with six, and GroenLinks sits in five spots.

The opposition parties understand the collapse of the coalition due to the accusations against De Mos and Geurnaoui, they said to Omroep West. A GDM city councilor is also a suspect in the case. PvdA leader Martijn Balser called it "the only right decision". Haagse Stadspartij leader Joris Wijsmuller called it an "inevitable" decision. "It is good that the decision was made quickly. Now we can continue on a clean slate", he said to the broadcaster.

"It is logical for the coalition to fall now and the PvdD wants a scout to be appointed quickly", PvdD leader Robert Barker said. NIDA leader Adeel Mahmood also called it good that the decision was made quickly. NIDA wants a council investigation to be launched into corruption and mismanagement, so that confidence in The Hague politics can be restored. 

"The only logical and correct decision, no matter how dramatic", Pieter Grinwis of ChristenUnie/SGP said. "Every Hague resident must be able to count on an honest and reliable city administration, without any doubts. Now it's time for reflection and for steps toward a renewed stable majority coalition."

The PVV thinks that new elections should be held, PVV leader in The Hague Sebastian Kruis said, according to the broadcaster. "I think the VVD is really the last to be allowed to make an issue of integrity. It is a terrible political settlement of the establishment of a political party in The Hague. The mayor should propose new elections. I do not think it should be allowed for a political party to be silenced in such a way."

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