The formation has started again, with Herman Tjeenk Willink who is once again involved in a cabinet formation. He will talk to the seventeen elected parties and an important question for sixteen of them is: can you still work with the VVD with Mark Rutte?
Although everyone except the current government parties denied confidence in the demissionary Prime Minister less than a week ago, a Cabinet Rutte 4 does not seem unthinkable. Rutte is still the leader of the largest party by far, and all in all there are still quite a few parties that do not write him off.
His old friends of the Christian Union did the last weekend (still) unambiguously, and Lilian Marijnissen also spoke no miserable words. The SP leader called on other parties in Buitenhof to break with old power politics and to confess colour. But not everyone on the left does.
GroenLinks and PvdA, two parties that fit into a coalition on the left, referred today mainly to last Thursday. On the repeated question “do you exclude him?” to Pvda leader Lilianne Ploumen, who replied: “We supported the motion of censure”. No unambiguously exclude, therefore, what in The Hague indicates that there is some room.
Jesse Clover also leaves room. He now sees no salvation in a cabinet Rutte. “A new governance culture with Rutte as prime minister, we dont see that.” But also: “We are now going into a process to see what is possible.” The Green Left leader did not want to go into any further questions. So, a little crevices.
This was also seen in JA21, the party Rutte mentioned as a possible coalition partner somewhere at the beginning of the failed reconnaissance process (whether or not for tactical reasons). “The door is not open, but it is not closed,” said group chairman Joost Eerdmans today. But its probably not going to depend on the seats of JA21.
It is from D66, the second part and so far together with the VVD forerunner in the formation. Party leader Sigrid Kaag clearly holds an opening for Rutte. “It is a phase that should bring peace and the opportunity to restore trust between the parties,” she said about the information round launched today. And also, “If the question is, do you rule out Rutte?” , then this is not the right time to answer.”
Cool down for a moment
Ruttes formation avoriet CDA, with whose MP Pieter Omtzigt started it all, does not rule out Rutte either. “The most important thing is that The Hague cools down”, was today the answer of party leader Hoekstra to the exclusion question.
The chairmen of the political groups speak about dolls, trust and cooling:
Hoekstra and Kaag did not support the motion of censure last Thursday, but submitted a motion of censure. That was supported by the whole Chamber minus the VVD. A big knauw for Rutte, but he didnt draw the ultimate conclusion. And also during the last days of reflection, Rutte did not shrink, something D66 and CDA were hoping for.
But he is still there as VVD leader and demissionary prime minister, partly because his party remained behind him as one man over the past few days. So also Rutte does not rule out a fourth cabinet that bears its name. “Were all doing it step by step. We are happy to participate and are also prepared to enter the opposition.”
Many small paths, which can come together on a path to Rutte 4, but which can also end up dead for the current demissionary prime minister. The next few weeks will have to tell.