Dutch Queen's official approves coalition deal

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

An official appointed by the Dutch monarch to oversee the formation of a governing coalition, approved a deal Thursday for a minority rightist government backed by anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders.

Ivo Opstelten, tasked by Queen Beatrix to advise her on coalition options following June 9 elections narrowly won by the rightist, pro-business VVD party of Mark Rutte, gave the go-ahead for a coalition with the Christian Democratic Action (CDA).

"I recommend that you task... Mr Rutte with the formation of a cabinet comprising the VVD and CDA," Opstelten wrote in a report presented to the Queen on Thursday evening, and made available to the media.

The deal will see the controversial Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) remain outside of government but providing the support that the minority coalition will need to pass decisions in parliament -- in exchange for a say in policy making.

Wilders, who campaigns for a ban on the burqa and an end to Muslim immigration, went on trial in Amsterdam on Monday on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.

The CDA, which was deeply divided over cooperation with Wilders, finally approved the deal on Tuesday.

The party leaders of the VVD, PVV and CDA met in The Hague Thursday to finalise the deal.

"The three leaders concluded that... the formation of a stable cabinet comprising the VVD and CDA, counting on the support of the PVV can go ahead, and will have fruitful cooperation with the lower house of parliament," said Opstelten's report.

The Queen is to meet Rutte later on Thursday, when she is expected to give him the green light to form a cabinet.

The VVD narrowly won the June poll with 31 out of 150 seats in parliament, while Wilders' PVV increased its support from nine to 24 seats.

The CDA, which has been in nearly all governments since World War II, saw its support dwindle from 40 to 21.

The support of Wilders' PVV will give the VVD-CDA coalition 76 votes in parliament.

© 2010 AFP

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