Ministerial posts divided among parties
13 February 2007, AMSTERDAM – Christian democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and the ChristenUnie divided up the ministerial posts in the new government on Monday. The CDA will hold a conspicuous number of the important social-economic posts. The PvdA is strongly represented at departments where much extra money is to be spent in the coming years, like Education and the new department of Integration and Neighbourhood Improvement. It was already clear that the CDA would fill eight ministerial posts, the PvdA six, and
13 February 2007
AMSTERDAM – Christian democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and the ChristenUnie divided up the ministerial posts in the new government on Monday. The CDA will hold a conspicuous number of the important social-economic posts. The PvdA is strongly represented at departments where much extra money is to be spent in the coming years, like Education and the new department of Integration and Neighbourhood Improvement.
It was already clear that the CDA would fill eight ministerial posts, the PvdA six, and the ChristenUnie two. The Christian democrats will be in charge of General Affairs; Social Affairs; Economic Affairs; Public Health, Welfare and Sport; Foreign Affairs; Justice; Transport, Water Management and Public Works; and Agriculture.
The PvdA will provide the ministers for Finance; Home Affairs; Education; the Environment; Integration and Neighbourhood Improvement; and Development Cooperation. The ChristenUnie will fill the posts of Defence and Youth and Family Affairs.
In only a very few cases is it already known which individuals will fill the posts. CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende will be the prime minister, at the head of General Affairs. PvdA leader Wouter Bos will be deputy prime minister and will head Finance, and ChristenUnie leader André Rouvoet will head Youth and Family Affairs, also serving as deputy prime minister.
It is also almost certain that CDA faction leader Maxime Verhagen will be in charge of Foreign Affairs and that ChristenUnie senator Eimert van Middelkoop will head Defence.
Insiders are also assuming that former CDA justice minister Piet Hein Donner will be given Social Affairs, that former Nijmegen mayor Guusje ter Horst will head Home Affairs, and that professor of environmental management Jacqueline Cramer will be in charge of the ministry for the Environment.
Amsterdam alderman Achmed Aboutaleb will also certainly be in the Cabinet, but it is not yet clear in which post. He is being considered for the ministry of Education or Integration, but there is still a possibility he might be named a state secretary.
Rumour has it that CDA minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin will remain at the Justice department, CDA MEP Camiel Eurlings will head Transport, Water Management and Public Works, CDA minister Maria van der Hoeven of Education will be moved to Economic Affairs, former Rotterdam alderman René Smit will be minister of Public Health, and CDA MP Gerda Verburg is a candidate for Agriculture.
PvdA MPs Sharon Dijksma and Bert Koenders are being considered for Development Cooperation, while former trade union confederation FNV director Ella Vogelaar is being considered for Integration and Neighbourhood Improvement.
The new Cabinet will include eleven state secretaries. The CDA will hold these posts at Home Affairs, Education, Finance and Defence. The PvdA will fill the state secretary posts of European Affairs, Social Affairs, Justice, Public Heath, Welfare and Sport, Education, and Economic Affairs. The ChristenUnie will provide a state secretary at Transport, Water Management and Public Works.
It is still unclear which individuals will be appointed state secretary however. Only CDA state secretary Cees van der Knaap looks as if he will be able to keep his position at Defence.
Faction leaders Verhagen (CDA), Wouter Bos (PvdA) and Andre Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) said they were extremely pleased on Monday about the distribution of seats in the Cabinet among the parties. Verhagen said they reached “a balanced division in good harmony.” Rouvoet said he was “extremely satisfied.” Bos was also pleased: “Every one of the posts the PvdA has been given is one in which it can stand out.”
Balkenende will receive all the candidates for the posts in his fourth government in the coming days. The new government is expected to be sworn in at the end of next week.
[Copyright Expatica + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news