Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Home Breaking News Exploration chaos gives outgoing ministers an unprecedented double role | NOW
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Exploration chaos gives outgoing ministers an unprecedented double role | NOW

The abruptly interrupted exploration leads to an unprecedented political situation. A unique debate is expected to take place next Wednesday with the departed scouts. Annemarie Jorritsma (VVD) and Kajsa Ollongren (D66) must answer for controversial information that accidentally leaked. During the debate, they face the other players in the exploration, who are then MPs.

Just before the debate, outgoing Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte, five ministers and three state secretaries were themselves sworn in as MPs. In addition to Rutte, two other ministers are also party leaders: Sigrid Kaag (D66) and Wopke Hoekstra (CDA). Just like the fourteen other chosen party leaders, they all sat at the table with the scouts for a first meeting last week.

This temporary dual role of outgoing ministers is customary and lasts until a new cabinet has been formed. These ministers vote as Member of Parliament and at the same time they must defend their policy before the same House. Normally, both Houses do not deal with politically sensitive matters during this caretaker period.

Due to the folded reconnaissance this time is completely different. Former scouts Jorritsma and Ollongren are in the cabinet section and will clarify their leaked notes at the request of the House. Especially the remark behind the name of CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt – position elsewhere – led to great indignation. It is not clear who submitted this point and why. Rutte, Kaag and Hoekstra deny. The old scouts and their successors have already indicated that it was in any case incorrect to involve individual MPs in a reconnaissance.

It is not yet clear which of the groups will question the scouts. Party leaders such as Lilian Marijnissen (SP), Lilianne Ploumen (PvdA) and Jesse Klaver (GL) will do that themselves, say their spokespersons. Government parties VVD, CDA, D66 and CU are still thinking about it.

New system had to guarantee more transparency

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The current reconnaissance system – in preparation for formation – is fairly new. There have been scouts since 2012 and they work on behalf of the Lower House. Until 2010, this first round was the task of the Queen, but that method was too obscure, according to parliament. Since then, a scout or scouts – nominated by the largest party – has been conducting the first conversations. The scout will then report to the House, which will discuss this with him or her. In 2012 this was Henk Kamp and in 2017 Edith Schippers (both VVD).

If the House agrees with the proposed course, an informateur will also be appointed immediately. He will conduct substantive negotiations with the intended coalition parties. If broad political support for policy and a coalition is established, a new report will be submitted to the House and a formateur will be appointed. This is usually the future prime minister, who assembles the cabinet at this stage.

Formation delayed by scandal

Due to the failure, the formation of a new coalition is at least a week and a half delayed. The new scouts Tamara van Ark (VVD) and Wouter Koolmees (D66) will only meet with all party leaders again after the debate. They want to make a whole new start, among other things to restore confidence.

It is plausible that the consequences of the collapsed exploration will be felt for a long time in The Hague, writes political analyst Lucas Benschop of monitor platform on Sunday. According to him, this caused “troubled relationships and the hint of filthy backroom politics”.

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