SP victorious as voters flee centre ground

23rd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 November 2006 (first update)

23 November 2006 (first update)

AMSTERDAM — The ruling Christian Democrat CDA won 41 seats at the Dutch Parliament elections on Wednesday, but is faced with a tough task of forming a coalition government.

Despite dropping three seats from the January 2003 election, the CDA held off a challenge from the opposition Labour PvdA, which could only win 32 seats, down from its current 42.

It means the CDA is in the box seat to appoint the new prime minister, expected to be incumbent Jan Peter Balkenende.

But the biggest winner was the Socialist SP, which won 26 seats compared with its current nine seats as voters fled the centre to the far-left and far-right.

The Liberal VVD — currently in a coalition government with the CDA — fell back to 22 seats from its current 28.

It lost ground to the debutant Freedom Party PVV of far-right MP Geert Wilders (former VVD) which won nine seats.

Green-left GroenLinks won seven seats (down from eight), while the Democrat D66 ended up with three seats (down from six).

The ChristenUnie moves up to six seats (from three), the SGP will win two seats (no change) and the Party for the Animals PvdD will also win two seats (entering parliament for the first time).

Right-wing parties EenNL, Fortuyn and the party of former LPF minister Hilbrand Nawijn did not win any seats.

All of the parties already represented in the parliament lost seats, except for the SP and ChristenUnie.

The coalition government of the CDA, VVD and D66 — which formed government after the 2003 election — lost a joint total of 12 seats.

The voter turnout rate on Wednesday was about 80 percent.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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