By Priscilla Slomp and Edo van der Goot
Dec 07, 2023 at 4:05 PM Update: 2 minutes ago
The end of the exploration phase is in sight. Geert Wilders (PVV) and Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) have had “once again a good and constructive conversation” with scout Ronald Plasterk, both party leaders said on Thursday. Plasterk knows enough to hand in his final report after the weekend.
It seems that Omtzigt wants to negotiate with the PVV and BBB, with the VVD as a tolerating partner.
“We await the scout’s report with confidence,” said a visibly cheerful Wilders, after sitting with Omtzigt at Plasterk for the second day in a row.
“I have a good feeling about it,” said the PVV leader. He did not want to say anything else about the content of the two-hour conversation.
Omtzigt didn’t want to say much afterwards, but still gave a glimpse of the veil. “We’re not running away,” he said. And a little later: “Of course there will have to be further discussions. One of the points that need to be discussed further is the rule of law.” Omtzigt will also have to take his faction into account in his decision. He will catch up on that after the weekend.
After Omtzigt and Wilders, Plasterk also briefly spoke separately with Caroline van der Plas (BBB) and Dilan Yesilgöz. “I know enough to write my report,” he said afterwards. Plasterk will probably submit his report to the temporary Speaker of the House on Monday, and it will then be debated on Wednesday.
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Omtzigt: ‘Constitution is the lower limit’
Wilders must convince Omtzigt that he will respect the rule of law in the next cabinet. A number of points in the PVV election manifesto are at odds with the Constitution. For example, the party does not want Islamic schools, Qurans and mosques.
Wilders says he wants to put this passage from his program on hold, but Omtzigt is not yet confident about it. Omtzigt does not want to make any concessions on this point. “For me, the Constitution is the lower limit,” he said yesterday.
Whether and how Wilders and Omtzigt want to accommodate each other remains unclear. On Wednesday it became clear that personal relations are in order. The air has been “cleared”, both party leaders said after they spoke with Plasterk.
After some stinging comments via X from Wilders, the cold is gone.
Van der Plas and Yesilgöz quickly made their position clear. Van der Plas wants a cabinet with PVV, NSC and VVD. Yesilgöz wants to make a right-wing cabinet possible, but only in a tolerating role from the House.
This means that a majority cabinet is out of sight (PVV, NSC and BBB together have 64 seats). This now seems to have been accepted by everyone.