Demissionary Prime Minister Rutte thinks that the formation has lasted so long because there is no longer a role for the king. Thats what he says in an interview with De Cceit.
“What I dont think helped is that the king was taken out,” Rutte says of the longest formation ever. “Not that suddenly it takes three months shorter if you bring it back, but it would help.”
In 2012, the Rules of Procedure were amended so that the formers will be appointed by the House from now on. A majority of MPs found it undemocratic at that time that the king played a role in the formation of a new cabinet. As a result, Willem-Alexander now has a ceremonial function.
Rutte questions that, His party, the VVD, was at the time against the king to keep out of the formation. The VVD then said, when changing the Rules of Procedure, that the head of state “has always had an important stabilizing effect in a process that is stirring according to the nature of the matter”.
Corona Policy and Omtzigt
In the conversation with De Cceit, the outgoing Prime Minister further acknowledges that he has committed a number of misses. Among other things, he refers to the corona policy. He agrees that the booster campaign could have started earlier. “I also think you should determine that the first corona package of November was not firm enough, the second package did.”
Rutte is also critical of his role in the commotion around MP Pieter Omtzigt. The notes stating that Omtzigt should be given a “function elsewhere” were the beginning of a turbulent formation.
“It was long, too long,” says Rutte. “And of course, thats not good. It started with that mistake of mine. In addition, parties had positions with whom they wanted and did not want. I stand behind the line that we chose as VVD. But every party has a responsibility in it. Im not going to take it on my own.”
Despite the self-criticism, the Netherlands will not see a completely different Rutte in the new cabinet, says the outgoing prime minister to the newspaper. “Its impossible to reinvent yourself. Like a snake shed your skin, I dont believe in that at all.”
Kaag regrets verdict about trust
In a conversation with the AD, D66 leader Kaag also looks back on the “almost absurd” year. She speaks of a “course full of obstacles, bumps and unexpected twists”. Kaag believes that the first phase of the formation lasted too long.
She regrets a ruling in September in a parliamentary debate about the formation. When asked by PVV leader Wilders if she trusted Rutte enough to negotiate with him, she replied at the time that she trusts very few people: “I trust my husband, I trust my own family and a few friends. Im going to go to business appointments.”
Kaag finds that a clumsy comment afterwards. “Im not like that at all. I like to give confidence. (..) It actually didnt make sense,” she says in AD.
The D66 leader doesnt want to say if shes going to sit in the new cabinet: “Ill announce that later. First, Im still busy looking at who best suits which post. And that also applies to the fraction, it must also be strong.”