Dutch cabinet talks: CDA and D66 fight over finance minister job

The formation party leaders meet with chief negotiator Gerrit Zalm. Photo: Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

CDA and D66 are both claiming the powerful finance minister position in the next cabinet because they have the same number of seats in parliament, the Telegraaf said on Friday.

It is customary for someone from the second-largest party in a coalition to be given the post of finance minister and both parties have 19 seats. But CDA scored more votes than D66 and says, therefore, the job belongs to it.

One option is that if CDA leader Sybrand Buma joins the cabinet as deputy prime minister, he will claim the post at finance. But D66 also has a candidate for the position in Wouter Koolmees, who has also been party leader Alexander Pechtold’s deputy in the formation talks.

The parties now expect it will be the end of next week at the earliest before a coalition agreement is completed, when the parties have finalised the financial plans and resolved the issue of asylum policy, on which there is still no agreement.