VVD-PvdA has no senate majority: other parties jostle for position

Mark Rutte’s new VVD-PvdA cabinet will have to grapple with one, as-yet unknown quantity – the 75-seat senate – because the two coalition parties only control 30 of the seats in the upper house of parliament.

The Volkskrant reports on Wednesday that the Christian Democrats and Socialists, who control 11 and eight seats respectively in the upper house, are already making their positions clear.
‘If they want our support, they will have to take us seriously,’ Elco Brinkman, who leads the CDA in the senate told the paper.
The CDA will not automatically vote in favour of all legislation because it is in the country’s interests, he said. The Christian Democrats are particularly concerned about the likely effect of some policies on average-income families and the plans to overhaul and merge local government.
‘If they need us, we are willing to talk with them,’ Socialist leader Tiny Kox told the paper. But this would mean discussions before draft legislation reached the upper house. ‘We want to be involved in fleshing out legislation,’ he said.
The senate can only accept or reject legislation, rather than amend it.
The senate is chosen on the basis of the results of elections to the 12 provincial authorities but these elections will not take place again until March 2015.
Is it a good thing the new coalition can’t count on a majority in the upper house? Have your say using the comment box below.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation