Parliamentary VVD party backs coalition deal
The parliamentary VVD party unanimously back a coalition agreement with the Christian Democrats CDA and a second document declaring parliamentary support by the controversial anti-Islam Freedom Party for such a cabinet.
The two agreements form the basis of a minority VVD-Christian Democrat cabinet supported by the Freedom Party. The cabinet will be known as the Rutte-Verhagen cabinet.
VVD leader Mark Rutte says there were a few ifs and buts in the party, but there were no fundamental objections. He called it an excellent agreement which would make the Netherlands stronger as it emerged from the economic crisis. He believes all three parties will support the agreements.
Meanwhile, the Christian Democrats are meeting in the Hilton Hotel in The Hague. The location was meant to be a secret so that the parliamentary party could iron its difficulties in private. There is huge media interest in what the Christian Democrats think of the deal.
Half way through the coalition negotiation disagreement in the CDA leadership led to two days of discussions within the party. Although CDA leader Maxime Verhagen managed to persuade his faction to sit tight until the talks had been concluded. Geert Wilders decided to pull out of the talks because he was not convinced that CDA would see the deal through.
Less than a week later the resignation of former CDA co-negotiator Ab Klink led to the Freedom Party rejoining the negotiating table. In an interview with daily newspaper, Mr Klink has said he does not think he can convince party members to vote against the agreements.
Some 3,000 CDA members are expected to attend a special congress on Saturday to vote on the deal. The vote will be broadcast live on public television.
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