Green, Labour parties positive about formation talks; CU party feels left out
PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen and GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver left government formation talks with the VVD and D66 feeling positive on Tuesday. ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers did not. "I read yesterday that we are not wanted," he said to NOS before his conversation with informateur Mariete Hamer, referring to D66 leader Sigrid Kaag saying in an interview with AD that her party does not want to rule with ChristenUnie again.
The ChristenUnie will not close the door on being part of the next cabinet completely, Segers said. "The ball is with VVD and D66, they have to make decisions," he said.
Informateur Hamer asked VVD leader Mark Rutte and Kaag to work on a draft coalition agreement over the summer break, so that other parties can choose to join the coalition based on its content. Previous attempts to form a coalition failed as none of the eligible parties seemed willing to work together in a way that would result in a parliamentary majority. For example, the VVD and CDA do not want to be in a coalition with both GroenLinks and PvdA, and the two left wing parties only want to participate in a government that includes both of them.
On Tuesday the leaders of the CDA, PvdA, GroenLinks and ChristenUnie met with informateur Hamer to discuss the draft agreement. In the afternoon they met with Rutte and Rob Jetten of the D66 - Kaag, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, could not attend because she was busy with the crisis in Afghanistan. In the evening, the two left-wing parties came back for another talk, which Kaag joined.
Afterwards, PvdA leader Ploumen called the draft agreement "a good basis with starting points for discussions". GroenLinks leader Klaver added: "We think that this basis can grow into something that takes the Netherlands further."
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra would not say much after leaving the afternoon meeting. "There are things in it that I like, and that I don't like," he said about the document. He also said he had a "good exchange of views", but it is up to the VVD and D66 - the biggest parties after the parliamentary election in March - to take initiative on how to proceed.