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Does a Prime Minister with no party affiliation have any clout?

Although Dick Schoof, of no party affiliation, has been nominated by the four coalition parties as the new Dutch Prime Minister, various experts have expressed doubts. Can he lead the new cabinet? Wim Voermans, Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, spoke to 'RTL Nieuws'.

As Schoof has not been elected as Prime Minister, he is not allowed to participate in the weekly consultations between ministers and state secretaries. These consultations are an opportunity to discuss current affairs with your own party, in preparation for Friday's cabinet meeting. 'As prime minister, without the preparation of such a consultation, you go into the cabinet meeting pretty unprepared,' Voermans says. For that reason, it seems logical to him that the consultations between ministers and state secretaries are done away with.

Professor Voermans also believes that since he hasn’t been elected and he doesn’t represent a major political party, it will be difficult for Prime Minister Schoof to get things done. A certain amount of political ‘clout’ is essential. Not just at cabinet meetings, but also on the international arena. Schoof comes up short here. Professor Voermans: 'In his public appearances so far he looks tense and weary and unsure how to conduct himself’. 

Find out more?

Read the full RTL news item (in Dutch)

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