Confusion as queen is invited to catch up on coalition progress

MPs were surprised on Thursday by the new parliamentary chairwoman’s decision to involve queen Beatrix in the coalition formation process.

Anouchka van Miltenburg had apparently suggested Beatrix invite the two cabinet negotiators – Henk Kamp and Wouter Bos – for a briefing, without first telling parliament.
Earlier this year, MPs voted to remove the queen from the coalition process. Previously she appointed the negotiators and kept a close watch on developments.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma told parliament if the queen is being briefed on progress, then parliament should also be updated.
However, Labour leader Diederik Samsom told Nos television briefing the queen is a question of good manners. The meeting is also logical because Beatrix will swear in the cabinet at the end of the formation process, he said. He will also be at the meeting because he has not yet met the queen in his role as party leader.
The coalition negotiations are taking place away from the gaze of the media and there has been little public comment except that progress is being made. Labour and the VVD Liberals emerged as the big winners in the general election two weeks ago and have been talking about forming an alliance since then.
The visit to the queen by Bos and Kamp is planned for Friday afternoon.

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