Netherlands starts cabinet formation process
The formation process for the next Dutch government starts on Monday, with "pathfinders" Kasja Ollongren and Annemarie Jorritsma having their first meetings with the party leaders. The two pathfinders will map out the possibilities for a new coalition.
As the VVD and D66 came out as the largest parties in Wednesday's election, and both gained parliamentary seats, there is a widely shared feeling that these two parties should take the lead in the formation process, according to NOS. Jorritsma is the leader of the VVD faction in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. Ollongren is the D66 Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs in the departing cabinet.
The pathfinders will meet with the party leaders in order of the number of seats obtained in the parliamentary election, from largest to smallest. On Monday, they'll meet with VVD leader Mark Rutte, D66 leader Sigrid Kaag, PVV leader Geert Wilders, CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra, SP leader Lilian Marijnissen, PvdA leader Lilianne Ploulmen, GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver, and FvD leader Thierry Baudet. The remaining party leaders will follow on Tuesday.
The expectation is that Jorritsma and Ollongren will publish their findings by no later than Tuesday next week. To get a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, the coming coalition will need to consist of at least four parties, like the departing Rutte III cabinet. The Tweede Kamer will debate the pathfinders' report on Wednesday. After that one or more "informants" will be appointed to start the next phase of the cabinet formation.
Jorritsma said last week that she hoped the new cabinet will be formed by the summer. After the previous parliamentary election in 2017, the formation process took over seven months.