Prime Minister Mark Rutte has invited his three deputy prime ministers to discuss the results of the provincial elections. The purpose of the consultation, which will take place on Tuesday at his Ministry of General Affairs, is to interpret and analyze the great victory of BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), among other things, a spokesman for the Government Information Service has announced. The coalition parties lost heavily and BBB became the largest in all provinces.
Rutte previously indicated that BBB’s large profit is a strong signal from voters, and that he wants to see how the cabinet should deal with this. It is not the case that a coalition party has asked to break open the coalition agreement, the spokesperson reports. More cabinet meetings on this subject will probably follow, he expects. In his opinion, the Prime Minister thinks it is wise to first discuss within the top of the cabinet which trends underlie the support for Caroline van der Plas’ party. According to researchers, it is not just about nitrogen, but there are several reasons for the dissatisfaction among voters.
Together with Deputy Prime Ministers Sigrid Kaag (D66), Wopke Hoekstra (CDA) and Carola Schouten (ChristenUnie), the Prime Minister and VVD leader can immediately prepare for the debate in the House of Representatives that will take place the following week, on 4 April. That debate, which was requested by GroenLinks, was first blocked by the coalition factions, to the anger of the entire opposition. But they changed their minds a few hours later.
Last Friday, two days after the elections, the Council of Ministers had already reflected on the loss. This is also of national significance, because the new members of the Provincial Council will elect the new Senate at the end of May. BBB will be the largest there with probably seventeen seats. The four coalition parties will drop from 32 to 22 seats, according to the forecast. This means that the cabinet must get more senators from opposition parties behind it in order to get policy through. That will probably lead to more concessions.
Apart from the electoral defeat, the opinions of the coalition parties differ openly on a number of major subjects, such as nitrogen policy. Especially 2030 as the goal to halve nitrogen emissions has caused a lot of dissatisfaction within the CDA. CDA departments in the provinces indicate that this date is not fixed for them, something that BBB does not want either. The noses are also not in the same direction when it comes to asylum and migration policy. VVD and CDA are pushing for less influx, while D66 and ChristenUnie are calling for better reception.
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