Christian Democrats approve coalition agreement
The last obstacle to a right-wing minority coalition has been removed. The 21 Christian Democrat MPs have approved the agreement which will make the next Dutch government a coalition of the Christian Democrat party CDA and the conservative VVD supported in parliament by Geert Wilders' Freedom Party.
The meeting of the parliamentary party on Tuesday was delayed for one hour to allow talks between Mr Bleker and dissident MPs Ad Koppejan and Kathleen Ferrier. He described these talks as "robust" but added "no one was intimidated."
The Christian Democrat MPs voted unanimously in favour but with one proviso: elements of the agreement between the coalition and the Freedom party will be "critically examined to ensure they are in line with the CDA's principles."
GreenLeft leader Femke Halsema commented "I have not the faintest idea what that means. It's incomprehensible CDA reasoning." She doubted whether the dissidents would really be allowed to question the agreement since that would be unacceptable to the Freedom Party.
The next step is that the three party leaders will inform the chief coalition negotiator Ivo Opstelten who will report back to Queen Beatrix. It is expected she will then ask VVD leader Mark Rutte to form a government.
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