PvdA disappointed, CDA celebrates
8 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – "It is quite a heavy loss," said Hans Noten, the senate faction leader for the Labour party (PvdA) upon hearing the results of the elections for the provincial states held on Wednesday. These elections determine the composition of the upper house of Parliament.
8 March 2007
AMSTERDAM – "It is quite a heavy loss," said Hans Noten, the senate faction leader for the Labour party (PvdA) upon hearing the results of the elections for the provincial states held on Wednesday. These elections determine the composition of the upper house of Parliament.
The PvdA will have 15 seats in the Senate, a loss of four. Noten had feared an even greater loss however. National issues like the debate on dual nationality or a possible ban on the burqa strongly influenced the outcome, Noten says.
PvdA leader Wouter Bos took courage from the results. He said during a meeting in Lelystad that the outcome should give the PvdA confidence as a coalition party. "It puts us in a good starting position to realise what the PvdA has promised, to change words into deeds."
The party leader was disappointed at the loss of seats. He said that the government policy statement presented last week had prevented any greater losses. "That policy statement was perceived as neutral. If you compare the results of this election to those of the general elections in November, you can see that the situation has stabilised."
Bos congratulated the Socialist Party (SP), which was once again the big winner. "We had to take into account that the SP could eclipse us. That did not happen. I hope for good and reasonable cooperation in the Senate." The PvdA leader was concerned about the low turnout on Wednesday. "These percentages do not make us more hopeful. It gives food for thought."
Christian democrats CDA
The CDA was in a festive mood. Loud applause in the party's offices in The Hague met CDA leader and prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende's statement that his party had been awarded "gold once again."
He said that the CDA would be the largest party in both houses of Parliament after these results. The CDA was also pleased that the coalition parties secured a majority in the Senate. "We worked extremely hard and achieved a fantastic result."
Socialist Party SP
The SP made significant gains for the third time in recent electoral history. "It is a mistake to think that the SP is a fly-by-night phenomenon. The party has long been working on an unstoppable upward course," party leader Jan Marijnissen said when the election results were announced.
Marijnissen has managed to bring his party up among the big four. "And we don't plan on ever dropping out of that group."
The SP leader too was concerned about the low turnout.
VVD leader Mark Rutte said the outcome of the elections for the provincial states was "encouraging" for his party.
Rutte said the VVD fared better than in the general elections last November. The liberals suffered a significant defeat in those elections. "We are on our way back," Rutte said on Wednesday evening.
Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop of the ChristenUnie saw his party's victory as a "show of appreciation for its courage to invest" in the new cabinet.
The election outcome on Wednesday will mean a gain of two seats in the Senate for the ChristenUnie. The party currently holds four. "I am proud of that," said Van Middelkoop, who served as senator before his appointment as minister two weeks ago.
GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema said last night she was "pleased" that her party had held on to its five seats in the Senate. The final results show that the party will be down one seat to a total of four in the upper house.
Halsema was glad that the SP's huge gain did not come at the expense of GroenLinks. "In addition the left-wing in its entirety has become stronger," Halsema said.
Marjo de Greef, leading candidate for D66 in Overijssel, thinks that the provincial elections came a bit too early for her party. The party will not be returning in the provincial parliament of Overijssel. "The national tendency has been visible here too. After the defeat in November the party has been picking up the pieces, but apparently not quickly enough."
De Greef had hoped to hold on to at least one of the two seats, but still expects that the party will take part in the elections in four years' time.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news