Dutch rightist coalition talks fail: government

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Negotiations to form a rightist Dutch coalition government with the backing of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders have floundered, the government information service said Friday.

Negotiations led by Ivo Opstelten, an official appointed by Queen Beatrix to examine coalition options, "have failed to yield any result," it said in a statement three months after June national elections narrowly won by the pro-business VVD with Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) in third place.

The VVD led by Mark Rutte started official negotiations on August 9 on the formation of a rightist coalition with the Christian Democratic Action of Maxime Verhagen.

They agreed to explore the option of forming a so-called "minority coalition" of which Wilders' PVV would not be a formal part but would provide majority support to pass policy on pre-agreed issues through parliament.

The VVD and CDA won a combined 52 seats in the 150-member Dutch Parliament in June 9 elections. Wilders' PVV nearly tripled its seats to 24 -- enough to provide the 76-seat majority the VVD and CDA would require to pass laws.

Analysts have explained that such a "minority government" system would have seen Wilders' party left out of the cabinet but consulted on all policy.

The CDA, which led the previous four governments and had initially refused to negotiate with the PVV, later agreed to talks despite concerns from some party members about Wilders' anti-Islam views.

Wilders calls Islam fascist and wants to stop Muslim immigration and the building of new mosques in a bid to stop the "Islamisation" of the Netherlands.

© 2010 AFP

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