Center-left coalition set to take control of The Hague City Council
The new ruling coalition at the head of the City Council in The Hague will be presented on Monday. The center-left coalition will be comprised of members from the six parties that reached an agreement, including D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, PvdD, CDA, and Denk, confirmed Arie Slob on Wednesday. Slob was the expert appointed to navigate a solution and find a way to bring parties together to form an agreement.
News of the deal to form The Hague’s fourth coalition in five years already leaked out late on Tuesday evening. Next week, when the aldermen set to lead the council are introduced, the six parties will also release their plans for the coming years. The current aldermen from D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, and CDA will likely remain, with new aldermen from PvdD and Denk announced on Monday.
The branch of D66 in The Hague said the deal is good news. “The city once again has a stable majority coalition of parties that are willing to take responsibility,” said Robert van Asten, the party’s local leader who also serves as an alderman and deputy mayor. PvdD said that the six-party deal gives the animal rights party an opportunity to pursue sustainability and green initiatives.
The six parties began negotiations at the end of August, after other possible coalition forms did not come to fruition. According to Slob, this group of six was “ultimately the last remaining majority variant,” after all other possible combinations had proven impossible. Together they account for 24 of the 45 seats on The Hague’s City Council, a narrow majority.
The previous coalition in The Hague consisted of D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, CDA, and VVD. That board of aldermen fell at the end of June when the governing parties failed to agree on how to further deal with Hart voor Den Haag, the largest party on the City Council.
Former Aldermen Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui were acquitted by the court earlier this year in a long-running corruption and bribery case against them. Despite a pending appeal from prosecutors, they wanted to bring their party back to the coalition. While D66, CDA, and VVD were prepared to have a frank discussion with De Mos about the possibility of negotiations to return, GroenLinks and PvdA said they absolutely would not engage with him.
De Mos is furious that he has to remain in the opposition. He accused the new coalition of being full of hot air when they speak “of togetherness, of combating polarization and improving manners.” In reality, he accused them of widening the wedge within the City Council “by completely ignoring the election results and the complete acquittal.” In his statement on X, De Mos did not reference the appeal that prosecutors filed against his acquittal in May.
The Hague will become the third city where Denk is part of a governing coalition. The party also sits on the boards at the head of the City Councils in Rotterdam and Schiedam. The PvdD is already in the coalitions in the municipalities of Almere, Groningen, Arnhem, Amersfoort, and Heerlen.
Reporting by ANP