Dutch post-vote scenario 'difficult': Queen's envoy

14th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

An envoy of Queen Beatrix tasked with examining a possible Dutch government coalition with the liberals and anti-Muslim far-right said Monday the country was in a "difficult situation".

The Liberal Party (VVD) took 31 seats in last week's parliamentary polls, followed closely by Labour with 30, and is mulling a coalition with the controversial third-placed Party for Freedom, which campaigned against Islam.

"Our country finds itself in a difficult situation," said Uri Rosenthal, appointed by Queen Beatrix to investigate possible cabinet formations on behalf of the crown.

Many considered the political landscape to have been "pulverised" by the poll, he told journalists.

The Party for Freedom (PVV) of MP Geert Wilders, who calls Islam fascist and campaigns for the banning of the Koran and the burqa, made the biggest gains at the polls by securing 24 seats compared with nine its seats previously.

"I will now ask all the parties' parliamentary leaders under what conditions they would be willing to become part of a cabinet comprising the biggest winner (PVV) and the biggest party (VVD)," Rosenthal said.

VVD leader Mark Rutte, who is set to become the next prime minister, said a tie-up between his party and the far-right was an option that "has to be considered seriously."

"There are complications, but it is not impossible," he was quoted as saying by Dutch news agency ANP after a meeting with the Queen's envoy.

He has reportedly described the chances of a leftist alliance with second-placed Labour, instead of one with Wilders, as "remote".

Coalition negotiations, which analysts expect to be long and complex, could take weeks even months.

© 2010 AFP

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