Rift among Dutch Christian Democrats widens
Disgruntled Dutch Christian Democrats continue to voice their objections to joining a minority government which relies on parliamentary support of Geert Wilders' anti-Islam Freedom Party.
Former MP Jan Schinkelshoek has announced he is leaving national politics altogether because he is "unhappy" about the coalition talks with the Freedom Party. "I deem such a coalition disastrous both for the country and for the Christian Democratic CDA party," the widely respected ex-MP wrote to his fellow CDA members in parliament.
Mr Schinkelshoek, who is 56, did not gain a seat in the 9 June 2010 elections when his party polled only 14 percent of the votes. He was, however, still invited as an advisor to meetings of the CDA group of MPs, a position which he is now giving up, saying "I can neither influence the direction the talks are taking, nor do I want to legitimise them through my presence".
The party is negotiating with the free-market liberal VVD party to form a minority government which will nonethelss have majority support in parliament since Geert Wilders' Freedom Party has pledged to act as a sleeping partner in the government. Together, the three have a one-seat majority in the 150-member Lower House.
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