Thursday 30 March 2023

Coalition talks will take longer, chief negotiator needs more time: NOS

Sigrid Kaag after talking to Mariette Hamer on Thursday. Photo: Bart Maat ANP

Talks on forming a new cabinet are proceeding with difficulty and negotiator Mariëtte Hamer is poised to ask for more time, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Hamer is due to report back to MPs on Sunday after three weeks of research but will not meet the deadline, sources have told the broadcaster.

Parliament asked Hamer to look at the options for a recovery plan for the Dutch economy and to identify political parties willing to work together in a new coalition cabinet.

But putting a viable coalition together is proving extremely complicated. The VVD and CDA have said they don’t want to work with the left-wing PvdA and GroenLinks. Those two parties only want to be in a cabinet with each other, and D66, the big winner in the March vote, wants to ditch current coalition partner ChristenUnie.

Hamer has held talks with all the parties, individually and in clusters, but has not yet managed to find a workable coalition.

D66 leader Sigrid Kaag on Thursday appealed to the parties to make more effort. ‘The convergence [between the parties] is greater than the differences people are now focusing on,’ she said. ‘I would call on all parties to work together.’

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