Coalition announcement expected by Saturday
Election negotiator and former Dutch prime minister Ruud Lubbers says he expects to hear from the VVD, Freedom Party PVV and the Christian Democrats CDA about a possible governing coalition by Saturday. He made the announcement as he left his office in The Hague on Wednesday.
Mr Lubbers said he had not yet heard anything from the three party heads: the VVD’s Mark Rutte, the PVV’s Geert Wilders, and the CDA’s Maxime Verhagen. Since Monday, the three have been holding informal discussions about the possibility of forming a new cabinet. “There may possibly have been progress, but I know nothing. However, I must hear something by midnight on Saturday,” Mr Lubbers said.
Although a right-wing coalition is the wish of both Mr Rutte and Mr Wilders, the CDA refused to commit itself to such an arrangement after the 9 June election. Mr Verhagen believed that the VVD and PVV should first agree on key issues. He also wanted Mr Wilders to drop a number of demands he felt were not in keeping with a constitutional state. These included a suggested tax on headscarves, ethnic registration and a proposal to ban the Koran.
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