Overcoming differences, Dutch coalition govt on the horizon

Hague, June 15 (IANS) A new Dutch government is likely to take office by the end of June as the four coalition parties have reached an agreement on all candidate ministers and state secretaries.

The parties — Party for Freedom (PVV), People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), New Social Contract (NSC), and Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) — have been engaged in long and tedious negotiations over forming a coalition government following the elections in November 2023, Xinhua News Agency reported.

A breakthrough was made in May when they struck a deal on forming a new government and then on a new prime minister, Dick Schoof, who is not a member of any of the coalition parties.

A few days ago, the parties reached a consensus on the candidates for the government ministries.

Accordingly, Caspar Veldkamp (NSC) would be the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with Ruben Brekelmans (VVD) as Minister of Defense, Eelco Heinen (VVD) as Minister of Finance, and Sophie Hermans as Minister of Climate and Green Growth.

However, due to a security service investigation, PVV had to withdraw the intended Minister of Asylum and Migration Gidi Markuszower from the list. While the exact details remain unclear, the Intelligence Service (AIVD) classified him as an “integrity risk” years ago.

The PVV then proposed its MP Marjolein Faber as the new Minister of Asylum and Migration. VVD leader Dilan Yesilgoz openly expressed doubts about Faber in the media, nearly pushing the new coalition to the brink of collapse.

This led to a crisis meeting on Friday called by government explorer Richard van Zwol, who affirmed Faber’s candidacy, noting she passed the screening.

The move will pave the way for the Schoof cabinet of PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB to be sworn in and officially start work by the end of June, in just over two weeks. From next Monday to Wednesday, Van Zwol will receive all the intended ministers for personal meetings, which he emphasized as crucial. These meetings serve as a type of job interview and a time for candidates to disclose anything that might affect their appointment.

Following the meetings, hearings will take place in the House of Representatives for one week. The deadline for Van Zwol’s final report on the formation of the new government is June 26, with the swearing-in ceremony expected shortly afterward.



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