The PvdA and GroenLinks factions in the lower house, the “lower house” of the Dutch parliament, will continue at least as a team during the difficult formation of the government. This was stated by party leaders Lillian Blumen and Jesse Claver, who had discussions throughout Friday afternoon on deepening mutual cooperation.
The two left-wing parties, who together account for 17 seats in the 150-seat lower house, announced before the March parliamentary elections that they would now work together. Blumen calls it a “logical step”, now that they are involved in discussions about possible government involvement, they are also making all the decisions together.
According to Claver, “something special” has happened in recent months. “After the elections, the cooperation between our groups has become even closer.” This has also led to increased confidence and pleasure in the collaboration, says the GroenLinks leader.
Both parties maintain that they are not taking this step to appease the liberal right-wing VVD or the liberal left D66. On Thursday, public radio NOS reported on the basis of sources that it wants to integrate the leftist factions, as it may provide a way out of the hardline formation.
There will then be four factions instead of five in the alliance. Rota prefers it, because a smaller coalition is more stable. Nor will the parties outperform each other in left-wing positions, but rather take the same positions. A VVD spokesperson notes that his party still sees the two left-wing factions separated in the formation. “What the other parties do is up to them. What we read does not change our position.”
Blumen and Claver do not yet wish to say whether the close cooperation is a precursor to an eventual merger of the parliamentary blocs, or even a merger of the two parties. “We’re entering a kind of virgin territory,” Plomin said. According to Claver, the choice of party merger is not up to him or Plomin, but to the parties themselves.
Claver does not want to rule out anything else in the coming weeks or after the government is formed. He and Blomin will find out how collaboration will take shape as they work. The GroenLinks leader stresses that the groups are not fully integrated now, but that the bargaining teams work together and both groups jointly decide on the formation.
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