SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A minority cabinet made up of the far-right PVV, the right-wing Liberal VVD and pro-countryside BBB would be a good option to look into, NSC founder Pieter Omtzigt said on Monday after meeting party leaders and chief negotiator Ronald Plasterk earlier in the day.
“They would appear to have had good discussions over the past three or four days,” Omtzigt said. He had pulled out of the negotiations last Tuesday, saying there was no point in talking further, leaving the other three parties to meet without him.
“I think it would be a good idea for them to look into forming a minority cabinet,” he said. VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz had made a similar suggestion at the start of the negotiations some eight weeks ago, arguing that her party would be prepared to support a minority coalition but not be part of it.
Omtzigt was back in The Hague to read Plasterk’s report on the negotiations so far, ahead of its presentation to parliament later on Monday afternoon. “We had a number of comments,” Omtzigt said, without going into details.
Omzigt said last Tuesday that there was no point in continuing the negotiations and left The Hague without briefing the other three parties and negotiations leader Ronald Plasterk. The former CDA MP told reporters on Monday morning that he had not pulled the plug in “the chicest possible way”.
“That is what can happen if you are a young party… I don’t think I would do it like that a second time,” he said, adding that he had tried to phone Plasterk several times to explain but without success.
Omtzigt said again on Monday he had walked out of the talks because of the state of the government’s finances after being handed “extremely worrying” ministry documents.
“Those documents were the last straw,” he said on Monday, before criticising the “leaks and tweets” which characterised the last few weeks of talks. “I’m not going to say the atmosphere between the five of us was great or nothing had happened,” he said. “And then we had this.”
On Sunday, VVD stalwart and government troubleshooter Johan Remkes told a television current affairs show that he did not see the four parties managing to put together a majority cabinet.
Instead they should focus on deciding what sort of cabinet they wanted, he said.