D66 leader Kaag said in the Chamber debate on the formation that she will start those talks from a ‘zero point’. “That is the purest thing in this process,” she said. D66 took the lead in the new round of formation talks and suggested that Herman Tjeenk Willink be appointed as an informer.
A majority has agreed to this, although there are objections. For example, at Denk, about the “not really fresh wind” that the seasoned informer stands for. Only the PVV, Forum for Democracy and the BoerburgerMovement (BBB) voted against.
Kaag wants Tjeenk Willink to investigate in three weeks whether sufficient trust can be built up to begin a substantive formation process. But, as far as she is concerned, it must also be about a new political culture of governance, with greater openness.
Several opposition parties asked her if these talks were possible after last week. Kaag says that it is possible, because she doesn‘t want to talk about the ‘puppets‘ right away, but about the content.
Kaag: ‘If you ask me ‘will you exclude Mr Rutte? ‘ , then I say that this is not the time to answer that. A great deal will have to be done from Mr Rutte. The process has to be carefully and calmly, and I‘m not going to anticipate it.”
VVD leader Rutte made it clear that he and no one else will have these talks on behalf of his party. He said he had given detailed thought to the situation that had arisen.
Rutte: “And the thread is the question of power and counterpower. How do you deal with coalition agreements and the relationship between cabinet and chamber? The culture we have in the government and the administration.” He wants Informer Tjeenk Willink to take this theme into account in the talks.
Rutte also received criticism from PVV, SP, Party voor de Dieren and others because the opposition believes that Rutte should leave. SP leader Marijnissen called Rutte a sta-in-the-way for a smooth formation.
PVV leader Wilders wants new elections. Rutte said he was not afraid of elections, but doesn’t think that‘s wise now. First, he wants all parties to speak with the informer to see if confidence can be restored.
New President of the Chamber
This question of confidence was immediately on the table in the debate when PVV leader Wilders informed whether Kaag and Rutte had reached an agreement on the D66 candidate for the Chamber Presidency.
Wilders asked Kaag: “What did you say to Rutte about this, and what did your party colleagues say to other VVD’ers?”
Kaag told me that she had been called this morning by D66-MP Bergkamp who said she was going to run. Kaag: “And I told Rutte in a personal conversation that D66 was thinking of running Bergkamp. And that this is a free matter for me, so I didn‘t ask for anything either. I have reported it without any expectation.”
In the conversation with Kaag, Rutte said that he also thought it was a good idea not to prearrange the election, said Kaag. In the debate, Rutte confirmed Kaag’s lecture.
But Wilders didn‘t trust it. “You called each other in a personal conversation. That stinks and you’re affecting the procedure,” he said. Kaag did not accept this allegation. She said Wilders always gives everything its own color and suspicions. “You are sketching yourself with this. As the man is worth, he trusts his guests. I‘m throwing that allegation back hard.”
CDA leader Hoekstra still holds his cards to the chest when it comes to the talks. “The Group of the Party of European Socialists is not in the move and will not be made soon,” he said. Hoekstra does support the proposal to appoint Tjeenk Willink as an informer.
Informer Tjeenk Willink has announced that he will not go to work until there is a new President of the Chamber, because he does not want to disturb the election tomorrow. “At the end of the afternoon I hope to be able to explain how I’m going to do it.”