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PVV manifesto plans unconstitutional

Almost two weeks after the general elections in the Netherlands, negotiations between the leaders of the four parties who were expected to form a new coalition government are still not going smoothly. Ronald Plasterk, appointed as ‘scout’ to explore possible alliances, has said he will need one more week. Wim Voermans, Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, commented on the situation on Dutch political interview programme ‘Buitenhof’.

The VVD party does not want to join the cabinet, but says it could give backbench support. The NSC party cannot identify with a number of PVV plans which it says are unconstitutional. NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt foresees obstacles in relation to the far-right PVV manifesto plans, in particular the proposed ban on Islamic schools, the Quran and mosques. However, the leader of the winning party in the elections, Geert Wilders, has promised to abide by the Constitution. Commenting on this pledge, Voermans says ‘the basic prerequisite to govern is not sufficiently present. The programme violates the Constitution, international treaties and EU law.' This makes half the PVV manifesto unworkable and means that Wilders will have to make major concessions.

Voermans continues: ‘The Constitution is a reflection of the democratic rule of law. A kind of insurance policy for all Dutch people. All rights and duties of citizens and the government are enshrined in laws. Even with respect to majorities, minorities have the right to go to an independent court. This makes governing by absolute leaders who do not want to commit to the rules impossible.’

Find out more?

The Buitenhof broadcast (in Dutch)

Photo Ruddy Media via Unsplash

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