MP calls for new elections
2 June 2005 , AMSTERDAM — Christian Democrat CDA MP Rendert Algra has called for new elections in the Netherlands after the public rejected the EU Constitution in a referendum.
2 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — Christian Democrat CDA MP Rendert Algra has called for new elections in the Netherlands after the public rejected the EU Constitution in a referendum.
Speaking on 'RTL' television news, the back-bencher said a new general election had to be put on the agenda following the crushing defeat for the government-backed campaign in support of the constitution.
Some 61.6 percent of those who voted rejected the constitution while only 38.4 percent were in favour. The turnout was 62.8 percent of registered voters.
Algra was speaking in a personal capacity and not as a member of the CDA parliamentary faction of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
Parliament is debating the referendum result on Thursday, but Balkenende indicated on Wednesday night the rejection of the constitution does not mean his government will resign.
It also appeared unlikely that other ministers will be scapegoated. European Affairs State Secretary Atzo Nicolai would have been an obvious candidate, but he is a member of the Liberal VVD, which has indicated it will not tolerate him being sacrificed.
Another option would be both Nicolai and Minister Bot falling on their swords, but traditionally such a move would automatically lead to the collapse of the entire government.
Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders, who was a major player in the 'no' campaign, believes the entire Cabinet should "pack its suitcases" and go.
He has indicated he will try to introduce a motion of no confidence in the government during Thursday's debate. However, he has acknowledged the motion may only attract support from 'Groep Wilders', his own one-person grouping in parliament.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, EU Constitution, Dutch referendum