All eyes on D66 as new elections loom
Whether the formation process can continue or whether there will be new elections seems to largely depend on the D66. The long-awaited conclusion of this phase of the formation did not come on Wednesday, but seems to be coming on Thursday. Before that happens, the D66 will first consult in the faction. The VVD and CDA, who will also be talking with informateur Johan Remkes on Thursday, had already completed their faction discussions about the formation on Wednesday evening.
The big question that now seems to be on the table is whether the previous coalition consisting of VVD, CDA, D66 and the ChristenUnie will be continued. The D66 was adamantly against this. There are major differences between the D66 and ChristenUnie when it comes to medical-ethical themes. In this past period, the subject of "completed life" got "parked" for the time being. But D66 leader Sigrid Kaag said in June that she did not want that to happen again. "A car that has been standing still for too long will rust and eventually no longer drive either."
The D66 leader removed that blockade on Sunday. She said she wanted to break the deadlock in the formation and take responsibility with her party. However, she indicated that she first wanted to negotiate with the PvdA and GroenLinks, in order to possibly arrive at a six-party coalition.
It now looks like that step was skipped. Insiders say that above all, the restart of the previous coalition is on the table. The VVD and CDA were already in favor of this.
The variant of the "extra-parliamentary cabinet", which includes Minsters who do not belong to a coalition party, no longer appears to be a contender. Remkes indicated that he wanted to investigate this option, but the nine parties with whom he spoke on Wednesday still had many questions about this construction.
Only one variant was discussed in the factions of the VVD and CDA on Wednesday evening. The parties did not say which option that was exactly.
It is not known on what note the hours-long D66 consultation on Wednesday evening ended. Kaag only told the ANP afterwards that the faction will continue to talk on Thursday, before the formation talks with Remkes continue. "There is much to discuss." Kaag, together with party leaders Mark Rutte (VVD) and Wopke Hoekstra (CDA), are expected at the informateur in the early afternoon.
Reporting by ANP