New coalition scout Ronald Plasterk has told reporters he now “knows enough” about the position of the four parties which may go on to form a right-wing coalition and will now spend the next few days writing his report.
That report will focus on “how the informative round” – the next stage in the formation process – might look and is due to be handed over to parliament on Monday.
The most obvious coalition is one between the far-right PVV, which won 25% of the vote in last month’s general election, together with the right-wing Liberal VVD, new party NSC and the pro-countryside BBB.
PVV leader Geert Wilders and BBB leader Caroline van der Plas both back this option. VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz has said she is happy to negotiate but not to take her party into government and NSC founder Pieter Omtzigt has expressed concerns about some “unconstitutional” aspects of PVV policy.
Since then, both Omtzigt and Wilders say the “air has been reasonably cleared” between them. They also described final talks with Plasterk on Thursday as “good and constructive”.
However, commentators say, Omtzigt was deliberately vague in his comments, because he still has to win the backing of MPs for any alliance with the anti-Islam PVV. Several are known to be fundamentally opposed.
Once Plasterk finalises his report, MPs will debate its findings. Then the coalition process will move into the next phase – working out what will be government policy and where the parties agree and disagree.
That is a process that commentators say is likely to take months. In the meantime, the caretaker cabinet will remain at work, albeit with a new-look lower house of parliament.
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