New elections ruled out on eve of coalition talks
27 November 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Christian Democrat CDA politician appointed to lead coalition formation discussions after last week's elections has categorically dismissed any suggestion of new elections.
27 November 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Christian Democrat CDA politician appointed to lead coalition formation discussions after last week's elections has categorically dismissed any suggestion of new elections.
Instead, Informateur Rein Jan Hoekstra focused on the start of coalition talks, predicting it will take a couple of weeks to complete the first phase of exploratory discussions.
Hoekstra will meet with parliamentary leaders from Tuesday until Thursday this week to determine whether a majority Cabinet can be formed.
During the exploratory phase of talks Hoekstra will examine what issues need to be placed on the agenda in the next round of talks and how they should be discussed.
Hoekstra — who was appointed informateur by Queen Beatrix on Saturday after she had met with her political advisors and parliamentary leaders — said he is especially looking for a will among the political parties to enter into a coalition cabinet.
Despite the large policy differences between the largest party, the CDA, and the big winner of the elections, the Socialist SP, Hoekstra is still optimistic.
He said party leaders had a responsibility following the election result.
Chemistry between individuals — which were a large reason why coalition talks between the CDA and Labour PvdA failed in 2003 — should not be superseded by a willingness to work together, Hoesktra said.
"You don't have to be friends with each other," he said, adding that international and national problems make it necessary to work it out as parties.
Hoekstra also dismissed a suggestion from Liberal VVD deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm that new elections be held if the cabinet formation process becomes deadlocked. He said such a scenario wad an unrealistic option.
"Dissolving the Parliament twice because of a political conflict is not good for the workings of democracy," he said.
The talks in coming days with parliamentary leaders will determine what form pf negotiations will deliver the best result. An evaluation will be made when the first phase of talks ends on Thursday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news