Pechtold: a veiled majority cabinet with the PVV?

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Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Democrats D66 party, has warned members of the Christian Democrats CDA against governing in a minority coalition with the conservative VVD.

Mr Pechthold referred to a comment made by election negotiator Ruud Lubbers in his final report - which he delivered to Queen Beatrix on Tuesday. In an additional note in the report on how to proceed with the coalition negotiations Mr Lubbers stated that the proposed minority cabinet was, in fact, a sort of veiled majority cabinet. This is because the PVV, while having no representatives in the cabinet, would guarantee to support cabinet proposals on economy measures.

Mr Pechtold noted that, "The CDA wanted no majority cabinet with the PVV. That was, to my mind, the message I was given by the party chairman and the party leader."

But what strikes the D66 leader is that the CDA, which worries about the Dutch image abroad and doesn't want to see the constitutional state, freedom of religion and education fall apart, is now getting involved with a party calling for ethnic registration.

"Know what you're starting on," he said. "It seems to me to be a bridge too far: you cannot think you'll keep your political hands clean with such an arrangement."

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