More infighting among Dutch Christian Democrats

17th September 2010, Comments 0 comments


In a bizarre twist to the difficult coalition negotiations for a rightwing minority cabinet, it has been revealed that Dutch Christian Democrat party chairman Henk Bleker at one point wanted to break off the talks.

The revelations were made by ex-negotiator Ab Klink in regional Dutch newspapers. The chairman of the CDA party initially agreed with Mr Klink that the negotiations were heading in the wrong direction and that there were great risks in relying on the anti-Islam Freedom Party for majority support.

In the end Mr Klink quit as a negotiator, resigned from parliament, and Chairman Bleker expressed his deep regret over his departure - but the talks continue to this day. According to reports in regional media, the chairman was swayed by the Christian Democrats' chief negotiator, Maxime Verhagen, who is trying to keep his decimated party in government.

A confidential letter of Mr Klink to Mr Verhagen outlining his objections was allegedly leaked to other MPs and led to a collapse of the negotiations, which were resumed after a week of mediation.

The talks are aimed at a rightwing minority government of free-market liberal VVD - the 9 June election winner - and the Christian Democrats. These parties need the support of all Freedom Party MPs, led by Geert Wilders, for a majority in the lower house, which makes the Freedom Party the power broker of the cabinet without being part of it.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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