Coalition talks stall: ChristenUnie and D66 decide not to work together

Liberal democratic party D66 and the minor Christian party ChristenUnie have decided they cannot work together in a coalition government.

Party leaders Alexander Pechtold and Gert-Jan Segers met chief negotiator Edith Schippers on Tuesday afternoon but decided after hours of talks not to press ahead with formal negotiations together with the VVD and Christian Democrats.

‘It is not about personal positions,’ ChristenUnie chief Segers said. ‘But we have looked at we have in common on balance. Then we looked at each other and said ‘there is no point in this’.’

‘We’ve taken time to look at it but we have not made a breakthrough,’ D66 leader Pechtold said.

Pechtold had said several times that he could not imagine being in a coalition with ChristenUnie because of the two parties’ differing positions on ethical subjects. The legalization of soft drugs and family income policy were other crucial issues.

Majority cabinet

Schippers told reporters on Monday afternoon that a combination of the four parties is the only option for a majority cabinet. With both the Socialists and the Labour party ruling themselves out of the talks, there is no other option open, Schippers said.

The Netherlands has been without a government since the March 15 general election. Talks with the VVD, CDA, D66 and left-wing greens GroenLinks collapsed a week ago.

Schippers is expected to report back to parliament as soon as possible about the results of the second round of talks and what should happen next.

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