Dutch set for difficult coalition formation
November 23, 2006 Leave a Comment
The final results of the Dutch general election mean the Christian Democrats remain the largest party in parliament. With all the votes from Wednesday’s poll counted, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s party has 41 MPs in the 150-seat house, three less than after the last election. The main opposition Labour Party has 32 seats, down ten on last time.
The biggest winner is the left-wing, former Maoist, Socialist Party, which is now the third largest party in parliament with 26 MPs, up from nine. The right-wing Freedom Party, known for its anti-Islamic stance, and the animal-rights Party for the Animals are set to enter parliament for the first time. The party formed by the murdered politician Pim Fortuyn has lost all its MPs.
The conservative VVD, a member of the governing coalition, has suffered major losses, making a continuation of the present government impossible. No two-party coalition is possible and the process of forming a government is likely to prove tortuous.
Source: Radio Netherlands, 23 November 2006