With the votes counted and speculation beginning about which parties can form a workable coalition, the actual process of forming a new government can begin.
● With a majority government requiring at least 76 of the 150 seats in parliament, forming a coalition can be a tricky business. It is a process which takes months. The longest cabinet formation took 208 days, the shortest just 10.
● While the coalition talks are ongoing, the new MPs take their seats and the former cabinet remains in office on a decommissioned basis – meaning it minds the shop and does not take controverisal decisions.
● On Thursday and Friday, Queen Beatrix will consult the party leaders, her own advisors and other senior politicians and appoint an informateur – the person charged with putting together a tentative coalition. The informateur sounds out the party leaders about potential coalitions and reports back to the queen.
● Once a potential coalition has been identified, the queen names a formateur.
● The formateur (usually the next prime minister) does the nitty gritty job of putting together a coalition agreement, or regeerakkord, in which the broad lines of new government policy are set down.
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