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No definition of extraparliamentary cabinet in The Hague political arena

Following the recent debate on the formation of a new Dutch government, there seems to be no clear definition of an extra parliamentary cabinet. Wim Voermans, Professor of Constitutional Law, discusses this in Dutch magazine ‘Vrij Nederland’ (VN).

Two variants

Notably, the variant of extraparliamentary cabinet that Pieter Omtzigt (‘New Social Contract’ (NSC) party leader) is willing to negotiate on is proving to be a source of confusion among Dutch MPs. The saying ‘all talk, no action’ springs to mind.

Professor Voermans explains: ‘You can show your tolerance by cosigning a parliamentary support agreement (gedoogakkoord) and not supply ministers as the PVV did in the first Rutte cabinet back in 2010... or you can sign nothing and just supply ministers, as the Den Uyl cabinet did.’ These are the only two variants.

Situation now reversed

According to Vrij Nederland, a parliamentary support construction would be risky. Participation in a PVV cabinet – in whatever polder form – could result in internal disputes within a party and make it more difficult to identify with the government.

Geert Wilders (‘Party for Freedom’ (PVV) leader) didn't want to form a cabinet with the VVD and CDA parties back in 2010. The situation has now reversed, as potential partners are unwilling to form a government with him.

More information

Read the full Vrij Nederland (in Dutch) here

Photo: Marianne Bos through Unsplash

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