Dismissionary Prime Minister and VVD leader Rutte will soon have a personal conversation with CDA MP Omtzigt. “I recently had SMS contact with him and he is ready to talk,” said Rutte in Nieuwsuur. “But he needs to recover a little further before the conversation can take place.”
Rutte wants to know where the anger of Omtzigt is, who has been at home sick for some time. The conversation can be important for the conduct of the cabinet formation. It is now largely silent, because it is not clear whether possible coalition partners still have confidence in Rutte as Prime Minister.
Omtzigt: Recovery is slower than hoped
Omtzigt responded to Twitter afterwards. In a series of tweets, the CDA politician wrote that Rutte texted him yesterday asking for a conversation, preferably next Friday.
“ I replied that I am always willing to have a conversation, but at the moment it is not possible to have these kinds of conversations,” says Omtzigt. “I was hoping to get back to work sooner, but my recovery is slower than hoped due to the ongoing flow of things around my person.”
Rutte has been under attack since the draining of the notes of explorer Ollongren about another function for Omtzigt. Later it turned out that it was Rutte who raised the position of the Member of the Chamber, although at first he could not remember that.
It was also clear from released minutes of the Council of Ministers that administrators complained among themselves about critical MPs such as Omtzigt, and that Rutte went along with it.
Rutte about his contact with Omtzigt:
The Prime Minister said to Nieuwsuur that he wants to regain the confidence of the Chamber, but that he will not become another politician. “I‘m not suddenly going to do all sorts of things differently,” he said. “I’m proud of the past ten years.”
Rutte had just come to the studio to explain earlier statements that he had “radical ideas” about a different governance culture and the relationship between the cabinet and the House of Representatives.
He acknowledged that he had given too little room for the debate in the past because he sought too much speed in decision-making and a good atmosphere in the coalition. As a result, the coalition parties could not present themselves sufficiently, he thinks afterwards.
Never thought of stepping
There has been fierce criticism of Rutte in recent weeks, but he said he never thought of getting off, even after the Chamber debate on 1 April, in which a motion of censure was passed against him and a motion of censure failed to reach the net.
“ I did doubt whether it would all end well,” Rutte said, but he never doubted whether he was still the right man in the right place.
Rutte made a number of proposals to improve the governance culture. For example, he wants to create a new government organisation, which has to see whether the decisions of politics are feasible. People who get in the middle can call the bell at that organization, which has to be placed in between the cabinet and the House of Representatives.
Rutte also wants to change something about the so usual ‘poldering’ in the Netherlands. Before the Cabinet concludes an agreement with civil society organisations such as trade unions or sectors, a debate must take place in the Chamber on the borders and main lines of such an agreement.
In addition, it must be easy as a citizen to take justice against the government. Access to justice, for example through social law, needs to be simplified, Rutte said.
Next Wednesday there will be a debate in the House of Representatives about the dragging cabinet formation. It should also be clarified whether potential coalition parties see sufficient basis for further discussion about a new cabinet led by Rutte.