Political crisis: dispute over election date continues, parliament meets

Parliament will meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the collapse of the cabinet and the government’s finances amid continued uncertainty about the date of the next election.

The electoral council said on Monday evening it considered September 5 to be the first possible date for a general election, but a majority of MPs say June 27 would be a better date.
The cabinet is responsible for taking the final decision on when the country should go to the polls. Under electoral law, after the collapse of the government there are 40 days for new candidates to come forward, followed by a further 43 days of campaigning.
Early elections
Supporters of early elections – the VVD, SP and PvdA – are all performing well in the polls. The other parties want more time to draw up an election manifesto, choose a campaign leader, organise a party congress and compile a list of potential MPs.
The Christian Democratic party, which is struggling in the polls, is also concerned about an early date because it does not have an official party leader. Maxime Verhagen, acting chief since the last election, has already said he will not be a candidate.
Meanwhile, all parties in parliament have said they are willing to work to put together a budget for 2013. Brussels wants clarity on the Netherlands’ spending plans by the end of the month, in line with monetary union rules.
Prime minister Mark Rutte tendered his resignation to queen Beatrix on Monday afternoon, following the collapse of talks aimed at restoring order to the government’s finances.
Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, pulled out of the negotiations on Saturday, saying the impact of the spending cuts ‘ordered by Brussels’ was too great.
Earlier stories
The election will be about Europe and the euro, says Wilders
The alliance with the PVV is over, what happens next?
Economists fear impact of austerity talks collapse
What had been agreed? State pension at 66 in 2015, VAT at 21%
Austerity talks collapse as Wilders walks out, election likely

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