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Why will elections for Dutch Parliament not be held until November?

Now that the government has collapsed, the Netherlands will have to vote once more. The elections will not take place before November, says the Electoral Council. The Electoral Act sets deadlines for various steps to be taken before new elections can take place. The fact that the summer recess and autumn holidays also fall in this period adds to the delay.

'Our constitution says that the government can dissolve the Senate or the House of Representatives,' said Wim Voermans, Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden. 'The dissolution of the House of Representatives is a decision that outgoing prime minister Rutte will take together with the King.' The dissolution decree will mention the date of new elections. New parties must also still be given the chance to register. This should be done with the Electoral Council 83 days prior to the election date. 'After that, names must be put to faces,' says Voermans. 'Those names of candidates must be known no later than 42 days before the election.' For the existing parties, a list of new candidates must also be compiled. 'That’s not a done deal,' says Voermans.

The problems the Netherlands is faced with are substantial, but Voermans thinks careful preparation now is more important than bringing forward the election date. 'If you take into account that there’s still a formation to be done after the elections, being able to hold the elections two or three weeks earlier wouldn’t really make a difference.'

According to the Elections Act, elections must be held on a Wednesday. Voermans expects they will take place on either 15 or 22 November.

You can read the full NOS article (in Dutch) here


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