Thursday 20 January 2022

Cabinet negotiation talks hit 225 days, setting a new record

The four-party talks started on Tuesday. Photo: Remko de Waal ANP

Thursday marks 225 days since the general election and that means the process of forming a new cabinet has taken more time than any other.

The old record, too, is down to the current caretaker cabinet, which was presented to the public in 2017, 225 days after the national vote.

The cabinet has been technically out of office for longer, having resigned en mass in January in the fall-out from the childcare benefit scandal.

Since yesterday, negotiators from the same four parties – the VVD, D66, CDA and  ChristenUnie have been holding talks on extending their partnership at the De Zwaluwenberg country estate near Hilversum.

The four parties have agreed to try to work together for a further four years and are now working on cabinet policy. ‘We are having talks again next week and possibly after that,’ prime minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said as he arrived. ‘There is, of course, a lot of work to do.’

In contrast to the past, when cabinets have drawn up detailed binding agreements before ministers are sworn in, lead negotiator Johan Remkes has said the parties will agree an outline programme for government first and fill in the details after ministers have been appointed, giving parliament and external parties more say.

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