D66 threatens another cabinet crisis

30th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — D66 has threatened to unleash a new cabinet crisis if its larger partners in Holland's centre-right coalition block its key reform policies again.

30 June 2005

AMSTERDAM — D66 has threatened to unleash a new cabinet crisis if its larger partners in Holland's centre-right coalition block its key reform policies again.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrat party (CDA) is leading the opposition in the cabinet and parliament to the policies being put forward by Government Reform Minister Alexander Pechtold of D66.

Pechtold took over as minister on 31 March after his predecessor and former D66 leader Thom de Graaff resigned when he saw his plan for direct mayoral elections go up in smoke.

This setback threatened D66 staying in government with the CDA and Liberal party (VVD).

After winning assurances that its partners were committed to major reforms, D66 agreed to continue in the coalition. Pechtold was given the task of implementing D66's "crown-jewel" policies.

But the CDA and VVD have not provided the promised backing, D66 leader Boris Dittrich claimed on Wednesday.

"Pechtold must come home with something as I regards the coalition as a marriage of convenience," he said.

"This means that a number of things important to D66 must be achieved. If little is achieved, we have to see how we are going to deal with that. Pechtold has ambitious plans and I expect the cabinet to support them," Dittrich warned.

The CDA opposes Pechtold's proposal to make it easier to alter the Constitution and hold  consultative referendums on government policies.

Both the CDA and VVD also oppose the plan to set up a council of 160 ordinary citizens to make recommendations on a new voting system.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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