The Dutch parliamentary elections will be held on 12 September. More than a week later, two days after budget day, the old parliament will be dissolved and the new one installed.
New parties have until 18 June to register with the electoral council – this gives former Freedom Party MP Hero Brinkman time to set up his new Independent Citizens’ Party (OBP) party. Parties have to submit their lists of MP candidates by the end of July. Voters living abroad have to register by 1 August to take part in the poll.
Elections have come early, once again, for the Dutch after Prime Minister Mark Rutte failed to seal a deal with the Freedom Party on more austerity measures. The measures would have been on top of the 18 billion euros already agreed during the formation talks 18 months ago when his minority VVD-Christian Democrat coalition came to power supported by the Freedom Party. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders walked out of negotiations last Saturday when it seemed like a package for another 14 billion euros of cuts was certain.
At the beginning of the week, the larger parties (VVD, Labour Party and Socialist Party) urged for elections to be held as early as 27 June, before the summer recess. However a large minority opposed quick elections, as did the electoral council itself The final decision on the date was taken by the caretaker cabinet.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide