Dutch Left-Liberal coalition talks fail

20th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Six weeks after national elections in the Netherlands, the liberal, labour, centrist and green parties said Tuesday that 15 days of talks on coalition formation had failed.

"It broke down on finances," Liberal VVD leader Mark Rutte, whose party came out on top of the June 9 elections with 31 seats out of 150 in the Dutch parliament, said on public broadcaster NOS.

"There will be no Purple Plus cabinet" -- the Dutch nickname for a centre-left coalition.

Uri Rosenthal and Jacques Wallage, two officials appointed by Dutch Queen Beatrix to oversee the coalition talks, added in a statement that their efforts "did not yield any result".

They would now compile a final report for the monarch.

Behind the VVD, the Labour PvdA took 30 seats in the polls, followed by the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders -- the big winner with 24, up from nine seats.

The Christian Democratic Party, which led the previous four cabinets, was pushed into fourth place with 21 seats, half its previous total.

The Socialist Party came fifth with 15 seats, while the centrist D66 and green GroenLinks both got 10.

Prior to the VVD-PvdA-D66-Groenlinks round, talks on a coalition between the VVD, Wilders' PVV and the CDA were scrapped on June 12.

Dutch news agency ANP quoted Rutte on Tuesday as saying he wanted next to explore a middle cabinet of VVD, PvdA and CDA -- an option that PvdA leader Job Cohen has said he does not favour.

Analysts say that complex coalition negotiations could take months.

© 2010 AFP

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