First cabinet talks with new negotiator

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The new coalition negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink holds his first meetings today.He will first be talking to his predecessor Uri Rosenthal, who submitted his final report to Queen Beatrix on Friday.

Senator Rosenthal advised appointing two negotiators, one from the conservative VVD and one from the Labour Party, with a view to forming a broad cabinet consisting of the VVD, Labour, the Christian Democrats, the liberal D66 and Green Left.

The queen decided to appoint Mr Tjeenk Willink rather than be seen to make a political choice. Herman Tjeenk Willink is vice-president of the Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands and the highest advisory body to the government. He is also the queen's main advisor.

Although a member of the Labour Party, he is regarded as above party interests. After serving as a Labour senator, he became speaker of the Senate and has been vice-president of the Council of State since 1997.

His brief is to

After he has spoken with Senator Rosenthal, Mr Tjeenk Willink is meeting with the leaders of the VVD, Labour, the Christian Democrats, D66 and Green Left.

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