Prime minister, top ministers to discuss election results next week

Mark Rutte talks to reporters. Photo: Jonas Roosens ANP
Mark Rutte talks to reporters. Photo: Jonas Roosens ANP

Prime minister Mark Rutte will meet the most senior cabinet ministers from the three coalition parties on Tuesday for talks to discuss the outcome of the provincial elections last week.

All four coalition parties lost support in the vote, with the Christian Democrats hardest hit, while the pro-farmers party BBB topped the poll in all 12 provinces.

‘We are going to talk about all the signs of widespread unhappiness within the community which can be gleaned from the election results,’ Rutte told reporters in Brussels.

The downturn in trust in the political system, highlighted in a recent report by the SCP think-tank, will also come on board, Rutte said.

Rutte will be joined by D66 finance minister Sigrid Kaag, CDA leader and foreign affairs minister Wopke Hoekstra, and Carola van Schouten from ChristenUnie. The talks are likely to take place in the prime minister’s office.

The state information service, which confirmed reports in the Telegraaf about the meeting, said that none of the four coalition parties had requested changes to the coalition agreement which outlines cabinet policy.

CDA leader Hoekstra has said the election results show it is clear things ‘must be done differently’ but has not given any indication how.

NOS political correspondent Lars Geerts said it is clear from the reactions to the vote last week that there are divisions within the cabinet.

‘Rutte and the three deputy prime ministers will want to show that they are taking disillusioned voters seriously but it won’t be simple to show unity,’ he said. ‘The CDA wants a “different approach” and D66 wants to stick with the coalition agreement.’

MPs will debate the results on April 4.

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