New Cabinet will have fewer ministers
Prospective coalition parties CDA, PvdA and ChristenUnie are likely to agree to a smaller team of ministers for the new government.
25 January 2007
AMSTERDAM – The negotiators from prospective coalition members CDA, PvdA and ChristenUnie want to form a government with fewer ministers than the 16 currently in office.
Insiders say it does not look as if the parties will agree to a core Cabinet of just six ministers, an idea which Labour PvdA leader Wouter Bos supports. But the three parties have agreed that having too many ministers leads to delay and fragmentation in policy.
Facilitator of the talks Herman Wijffels has said that it must not be the case that “five ministers are required to come to parliament to discuss a single topic.”
A decision on the number of ministerial positions will not be made until the coalition agreement has been entirely drawn up. Insiders think that this could be the end of next week at the very earliest.
The parties may also take a week to discuss the outcome of the negotiations in the factions and at party conferences. After that a week or two will be needed to divide up the ministerial seats among the parties and approach candidates.
According to this schedule a new government could be in place for early March.
There continues to be a mood of cautious optimism surrounding the government formation process, but insiders do not expect the parties to make any announcements to the press on Friday. This is not likely to happen until the end of next week.
[Copyright Expatica + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news