Parties react to forecast election results

22nd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Socialist SP said voters had opted for "reliability" as the party emerged the big winner from Wednesday's parliamentary elections.

22 November 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Socialist SP said voters had opted for "reliability" as the party emerged the big winner from Wednesday's parliamentary elections.

"The voter has chosen for reliability. This cannot be beaten," Socialist MP Agnes Kant said after two exit polls forecast huge electoral gains for the party.

"The voter has chosen for a party that will really do it differently. [Leader] Jan Marijnissen exudes that and the Netherlands goes for it. Perhaps we will fall back a few seats, but this is unbelievable."

Disappointment prevailed with Liberal VVD Defence Minister Henk Kamp, with exit polls forecasting the party to fall back to 21 or 20 seats from its present 28.

Kamp said its new team of MPs would work hard in the Parliament, stressing that the party has more quality now than it has ever had.

But Kamp refused to suggest a possible VVD return to government. "The VVD is not the first [party] that you would think of," he said.

Kamp — who was listed at number three on the VVD candidate list — said the Christian Democrat CDA would take the lead now that the VVD had fallen back to become the nation's fourth largest party.

He emphatically refused to abandon VVD leader Mark Rutte, stressing that the election result "is a problem for the VVD as a whole and not Rutte alone".

Fred Teeven — number seven on the VVD list — said "this is simply a bad result".

"I am not yet ready for a real analysis, but the battle for the prime minister's position did not do us any good. We lost seven seats on the right. If this is the result, we don't need to think about participating in government," he said.

Labour PvdA chairman Michiel van Hulten said the current CDA-VVD coalition Cabinet had failed to gain a new mandate from the electorate. Voters had opted for change instead, he said.

But exit polls did not forecast a good result for the PvdA. "That is a pity," Van Hulten said.

The number two on the list for debutant party EenNL, Joost Eerdmans, was extremely disappointed at the exit poll from public broadcaster NOS indicating his party would only win one seat. He said he would retire from politics if the party only wins one seat.

Eerdmans had expected a bigger swing to the right, but admitted that this had failed to occur. He said he would remain a member of the party.

EenNL leader Marco Pastors congratulated Geert Wilders with his party's forecast result. "Wilders doesn't appeal, however, to as many voters as what [Pim] Fortuyn did at the time," he said.

Pastors said he would take up his seat in the Parliament, but said it was "terrible" to think of being there entirely alone.

Former VVD MP Geert Wilders said he was proud of the forecast results for his team, claiming that about 500,000 people had voted for his Freedom Party. Wilders refused to speculate if he had taken voters away from the VVD.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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