It's been exactly 11 weeks and five days since the Netherlands' parliamentary election and the country still doesn't have a new government. Formation talks continue today with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink meeting with the leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 this afternoon, according to various Dutch newspapers.
Conversations with new formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Thursday seems to have reopened the door for GroenLinks to rejoin negotiations with the VVD, CDA and D66. After speaking with Tjeenk Willink on Thursday, GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver emphasized that he will not say no if the mediator wants to explore a restart, the Volkskrant reports.
VVD leader and current prime minister Mark Rutte is open to restarting government formation talks with the 'engine' of VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, but only if green leader Jesse Klaver is willing to come to the table without setting any conditions in advance. Klaver sees no point in continuing the negotiations if the VVD and CDA are not willing to compromise on the immigration and asylum seekers policy, NU.nl reports.
After weeks of "only" being the VVD leader at the government formation talks, current Prime Minister Mark Rutte now seems to be taking the lead in attempting to pull the negotiations out of their current impasse. On Wednesday he had one-on-one meetings with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, AD reports.
Edith Schipers, the mediator in the Dutch government formation talks, plans to contniue exploring to find the best way to form the new Dutch government, despite the current impasse. She asked the party leaders to keep themselves available for meetings on Friday, Schippers reported to Tweede Kamer presidend Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
The D66 will not accept the invitiation to talk with the VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie on forming a government together, the party announced during the early hours of Wednesday morning. A failed discussion with the ChristenUnie on Tuesday showed that the two parties can't bridge their differences and further negotiations "would not be sensible", the party said, according to ANP.
A coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie is the only majority variant with which the government formation talks can continue, mediator Edith Schippers said on Monday afternoon after again speaking to party leaders, NOS reports.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that a coalition with the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA is a solid formation for the new Dutch government. He asked negotiation mediator Edith Schippers to invite the socialists and labour party to the negotiations, rather than Christian party ChristenUnie, NU.nl reports.
Pechtold believes that the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA will make a combination that can connect progressively and conservatively. Together the five parties also have a stable majority in both the lower house of parliament and the Senate.
Multiple attempts to get a second round of government formation talks going, failed to get off the ground. The forming of a new Dutch cabinet is now facing a looming stalemate, CDA leader Sybrand Buma warns. "The situation is now in danger of creating an impasse as parties say they don't want to participate, or won't participate in certain compositions", he said after his second meeting in as many days with negotiation mediator Edith Schippers, NU.nl reports.
Christian party CDA and democrats D66 called on socialist party SP to join them and liberal VVD in negotiations to form a new Dutch government together. During the election campaign SP leader Emile Roemer insisted that his party will not work with the VVD.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma called on Roemer to get off the sidelines, in the parliamentary debate about the failed formation attempt between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on Wednesday. "Have the guts to start the negotiations", he said in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NU.nl reports.
After 61 days of negotiations, talks to form a new Dutch ruling cabinet fell apart on Monday, according to a press release from Edith Schippers. "It has not worked out; the talks have ended," Schippers said at the beginning of a press conference announcing the news.
Nearly nine weeks after the election, the parties differences were simply too great, she added. Attempts at forming a policy to handle migrants to the Netherlands proved to be the last straw. The parties were also far apart on issues related to climate change, energy sustainability and income she said.
The CDA is causing annoyance at the government formation negotiation table because party leader Sybrand Buma is saying 'no' to almost every proposed climate measure, sources around the negotiations told newspaper AD.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold hopes that by the end of today's government formation negotiations - the last session before the May recess - there will be more clarity on the status of forming a government between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, he said before entering the talks on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
"We should get an idea today about where we stand", Pechtold said. "This past week was important and useful. Sometimes very tough, but still with good steps."
Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks talked about security, the judiciary and income disparities on Tuesday during the negotiations on forming a new Dutch government. On Wednesday they will continue to discuss security. Experts in the field of security and defense were invited to the morning negotiation session, Het Parool reports.
"We talked about security. That is an important issue. We need to develop new ideas", D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said after Tuesday's negotiations. VVD negotiator Halbe Zijlstra added that income disparities were also on the table.
After a week of government formation negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, it is still uncertain whether these four parties will manage to form a cabinet together. "There is absolutely no prospect of a result on any subject. We are not close to that phase yet", negotiation leader Edith Schippers said in a press conference on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
Police took four teenaged boys into custody late Sunday in connection with the assault of two gay men in Arnhem. The victims were holding hands walking home from a party early Sunday morning when they were confronted by a group of young men shouting slurs at them.
They were then struck by a man wielding a heavy set of bolt cutters, kocking out four of Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes' teeth and severing his lip, and injuring the ribs of Jasper Vernes-Sewratan. The two say they usually conceal their relationship in public, but were holding hands after a fun night out.
The first formal and substantive negotiations for forming a government with the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks start at 9:30 this morning. The parties will try to find common ground and make agreements on a number of major issues, including employment, income distribution, the tax system, the energy transition and the environment, security and defense, immigration and integration, education and healthcare, NOS reports.
After talking with all 13 elected party leaders on Monday, "coalition scout" Edith Schippers will be meeting with the leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks today to discuss a possible coalition, RTL Nieuws reports.
After all of the larger parties' leaders gave their coalition wishes through to coalition scout Edith Schippers, it is clear that the CDA, D66 and VVD are all willing to work together. A fourth party will be needed to give the coalition a majority, and the most likely candidates seem to be GroenLinks and ChristenUnie. So far the PVV hasn't been mentioned in any ideal cabinet, except on the PVV's own wish list. Leader Geert Wilders called it "undemocratic and unmarketable" if his party is not part of the coalition negotiations, the Volkskrant reports.
After a night of celebrations or condolences following the parliamentary election on Wednesday, the Dutch political party leaders are gathering in parliament to discuss the election results and start the massive task of creating a new government. GroenLinks party leader Jesse Klaver thinks it will be "difficult" to for his party to form a coalition party with the VVD, the biggest party after the election, but he is willing to consider it, the Telegraaf reports.
"The Netherlands, after Brexit, after the American elections, said 'whoa' to the wrong kind of populism", Prime Minster Mark Rutte said on Wednesday night, after his VVD won the Dutch election for the third time in a row, NU.nl reports
As the results now stand, with 94 percent of the votes counted, the VVD is the largest party in the Netherlands with 33 seats, 7 less than after the 2012 elections.
An exit poll sampling voters in the 2017 Netherlands parliamentary election shows the conservative party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte taking 31 seats in the Lower House, down from its current 41 seats. The coalition partner of Rutte's VVD, the Labour party (PvdA), showed a bigger than expected drop, losing 29 of its 38 seats, the Ipsos exit poll showed.
Many of the political party leaders already cast their votes in the parliamentary election in the Netherlands this morning. D66 leader Alexander was the first party leader to do so. He voted in his hometown of Wageningen, NOS reports.
According to Pechtold, today is an exciting day. "There are four parties that can become the biggest and of those the D66 is the most progressive", he said to the broadcaster. He plans to hand out some more flyers during the day.