Former PvdA leader Mariëtte Hamer likely to be appointed new informateur
The chair of the Social and Economic Council (SER), Mariëtte Hamer, is widely expected to be appointed the next informateur to help guide Cabinet formation talks. The 62-year old led the PvdA (Labour) in the Tweede Kamer from 2008 through 2010, and on Wednesday she is expected to succeed the Herman Tjeenk Willink to find common ground among potential coalition partners.
Hamer served as the SER chair since 2014, leading the government's main advisory body for national and international social and economic policy. Between May 1998, and September 2014, the Amsterdam-born politician was also a member of the Tweede Kamer where she mostly focused on matters of labour economics.
During the political debate on Wednesday the final report of the current informateur, Herman Tjeenk Willink, was meant to be a primary discussion topic. Willink concluded that he saw the possibility of a formation moving forward even though he was concerned about the level of mistrust.
The possible appointment of Hamer was met with derision by far right and left parties, mainly because the story was leaked to the press on Tuesday before MPs had a chance to discuss the issue. They said it only increased feelings of mistrust in the lower House of Parliament.
"Did I miss something? It is bizarre that we are now entering into a discussion with the old informateur, while the parties have apparently already discussed a new one?" said Joost Eerdmans of Ja21. He said all parties should have had a chance to provide input before Rutte’s VVD and D66, the two larges parties, submit the nominee to Tweede Kamer chair Vera Bergkamp, also a D66 member. His point was echoed by SP, Denk, and PvdD.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the PVV, said, “It’s too crazy for words.”
“Since the King no longer has a role, it is up to the major parties to appoint an informateur,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte, also the VVD leader, in response. “Now that Mr. Tjeenk Willink has pulled out of the unsuccessful formation [process], it is logical that we are now talking about a new informateur."
The debate was expected to once again raise the question of trust in caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte. During an interview on Monday, Rutte said he approached Pieter Omtzigt with an aim to discuss his anger over the situation which led to one of the largest political scandals in the country's recent history. Omtzigt confirmed that himself but responded he would not be able to meet Rutte due to ongoing health concerns.
Rutte admitted he made mistakes that led to the political crisis, but also pointed out he will not "suddenly do all kinds of things differently" should he become prime minister again.