PVV, BBB, VVD and NSC “should keep talking about a coalition”

Ronald Plasterk (r) hands his report to parliamentary chairman Martin Bosma. Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen ANP

The four parties that were in talks on forming a new coalition have enough in common to make it possible for them to put together a government, lead negotiator Ronald Plasterk has told MPs in his report on the eight weeks of talks so far.

Whether it should be a majority or minority cabinet should be decided at a later date, Plasterk told MPs on Monday afternoon.

The far-right PVV, pro-countryside BBB, right-wing Liberal VVD and new party NSC had been in talks since December, but last Tuesday NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt pulled out of the negotiations, saying late information about the state of the nation’s finances was “the last straw”.

Plasterk said he could not judge if there is still the prospect of a right-wing cabinet without the NSC, but that he did not rule it out. Therefore, he said, it would be sensible if the four parties talked further under the leadership of someone with “wide managerial and political experience”.

The report does state that the NSC maintains it and the PVV are too far removed from each other in terms of their views on the rule of law to be in the same cabinet. However, Omtzigt is prepared to support a minority cabinet, and said earlier on Monday the other three parties should continue talking.

Omtzigt is also known to favour the establishment of an extra-parliamentary cabinet with ministers who are not party members and who operate more independently.

The VVD is not keen on being part of a cabinet with the PVV either but has also said it would be prepared to support it from the sidelines. However, commentators say, a two-party coalition between the PVV and BBB, with the support of the two other parties is not a likely or stable option.

MPs will debate the report’s findings on Wednesday before deciding what to do next.


BBB leader Caroline van der Plas said her party, which has seven seats in parliament, would continue to take responsibility and wanted the talks on forming a centre right government to continue with the NSC.

“This would do justice to the election result,” she said.

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