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I Wonder how...

Seldom were elections for the Parliament as full of suspense as in 2010. It seems that the Netherlands is divided. Although the gains for right-wing parties are the most conspicuous, left-wing parties also scored well. The center-right VVD and center-left PvdA ended at respectively 31 and 30 seats. A huge gain was seen for the right-wing PVV led by Geert Wilders: it went from 9 to 24 seats. The CDA, the party led by premier Balkenende, suffered a loss of almost fifty percent to end up with 21 seats. What next?

The next step is the formation of a coalition. In the Netherlands we know a majority coalition, which means that the government parties jointly have more than 75 seats in Parliament. Given the results of the election, the formation of a coalition will be a very troublesome task. The biggest parties have such major differences of opinion that they do not wish to work together just like that. Among the bottlenecks are the cutbacks and the policy regarding ethnic minorities and immigration. The PvdA, for one, does not want to be in one Cabinet with the right-wing PVV, while the differences with the VVD program are also quite substantial.

The Queen has appointed an informateur (a politician who investigates on behalf of the Crown whether a proposed Cabinet formation will succeed), who is investigating the options available. As soon as the best option is known, a coalition agreement will be drafted and the Ministerial positions will be divided. Expectations are that this may in any case take two to three months yet. (SK)

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