Coalition talks reach stalemate; parties urged to do hard thinking this weekend

Mariette Hamer talks to reporters after the meeting. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP
Mariette Hamer talks to reporters after the meeting. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP

The cabinet formation process has reached an impasse and the six parties left in the talks should meet this weekend to discuss how they think the stalemate can be solved, negotiator Mariëtte Hamer said on Friday afternoon.

Hamer spoke to reporters after holding talks with all six parties – the four current coalition members plus GroenLinks and the PvdA – to assess what should happen next.

While the substantive part of her assignment is almost ready, Hamer said it has not yet been possible to find a group of parties that want to work together. Therefore, this weekend, she said, she has asked them to make the necessary breakthrough. ‘They really have to do that together,’ she said. 

NOS said earlier on Friday there were three options on the table. One involves asking VVD leader Mark Rutte and D66 leader Sigrid Kaag to write a draft coalition agreement, the second would involve giving Rutte the job alone. Then the other parties would be asked if they were able to support these plans.

The third option, NOS said, involves putting the six parties together and seeing who drops out.

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All six have said they are not opposed to being part of the cabinet, but there are underlying problems. D66, for example, does not want to rule with ChristenUnie for a second time, and the PvdA and GroenLinks have said they want to remain together. However, the VVD and CDA have said they don’t want to work in a cabinet with two left-wing parties.

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