Coalition government stands united: Balkenende

29th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

UPDATE 29 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has told parliament that his ministers are united in the opinion that the defeated motion of no confidence in Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has no consequences for the government.

UPDATE 29 June 2006

AMSTERDAM — Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has told parliament that his ministers are united in the opinion that the defeated motion of no confidence in Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has no consequences for the government.

This comes after a day of speculation his centre-right coalition was doomed by the decision of junior coalition party to support the motion in the early hours of Thursday morning.

D66 has two Cabinet ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and Alexander Pechtold, the newly-elected leader of D66's MPs.

Both were said to support acting D66 leader Lousewies van der Laan who has said her party could not accept Verdonk continuing as immigration minister. She indicated D66 would pull out of government if Verdonk didn't resign. Van der Laan told parliament her party was not trying to bring down the government but Verdonk could not stay on after her "performance" in relation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

But Balkenende indicated in a statement at 4pm that all his ministers agree the government can continue as it is.

Van der Laan asked for a adjournment of parliament after Balkenende's statement to allow her to prepare a statement.

UPDATE: Balkenende announced the fall of his government shortly after 8.30pm on Thursday.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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