Bos denies courting CDA
3 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — Wouter Bos, the leader of the opposition Labour Party (PvdA), said on Tuesday that his criticism of other leftwing parties should not been read as an endorsement of a coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDA).
3 January 2006
AMSTERDAM — Wouter Bos, the leader of the opposition Labour Party (PvdA), said on Tuesday that his criticism of other leftwing parties should not been read as an endorsement of a coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDA).
*sidebar1*The media thought comments he made last week about the green-left Groenlinks and the Socialist Party (SP) indicated Bos is looking to an alliance with the Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's CDA after the general election in 2007.
But three days is a long time in political terms, particularly when question marks are raised about a presumptuous marriage proposal. Bos is no longer so decided about his preferred political bedfellow, though the CDA still appears to be a front runner.
"A lot has to happen within the CDA before we can rule with the party," Bos said in an interview with newspaper 'De Volkskrant' on Tuesday. He stood by his criticism of Groenlinks and SP, while adding that the differences with the PvdA on issues such as tax and security are not "insurmountable".
Bos, whose party has been consistently ahead in opinion polls in 2005, emphasised he has not yet chosen any party as a preferred coalition partner.
"The voters understand that coalition-forming is only on the agenda after the election. Regardless which parties join forces: there will in any case be an entirely different policy. We are not going to follow a watered down Balkenende policy," Bos said.
Winning the largest number of the 150 seats in parliament does not guarantee a party a place in government in the Dutch system of coalitions. While the PvdA has on occasion ruled with the CDA, it has frequently emerged as the biggest party only to see the Christian grouping form a coalition without it.
The CDA pipped the PvdA at the post in the 2003 elections, winning 44 seats to Labour's 42. Talks to form a CDA-PvdA coalition came to nothing and Balkenende went on to form a coalition with the Liberal Party (VVD) and D66.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news