Dutch government loses majority

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details 21.3.12
Publication Date 21/03/2012
Content Type

The Dutch government lost its one-vote majority in Parliament on the 20 March 2012, after a leading member of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom quit the party to protest against its 'ostracisation' of Muslims and eastern Europeans.

Hero Brinkman, a member of parliament and one of the more popular figures in the Party for Freedom (PVV), resigned from the party after criticising a website the PVV set up in February 2012 that allowed citizens to complain about immigrants from central and eastern Europe. The website had led to fierce criticism of the Dutch government in the European Commission and was condemned in a vote in the European Parliament.

The move left the conservative Dutch government of Mark Rutte, Prime Minister, with just 75 votes in the Netherlands' 150-seat parliament. That complicated the task for Mr Rutte, who was locked in negotiations with his coalition partners over budget cuts to bring the Netherlands' deficit down to the EU-mandated 3%.

However, Reuter reported that Prime Minister Mark Rutte ruled out fresh elections.

Related Links
EUObserver, 20.3.12: Dutch far-right defector raises calls for snap elections http://euobserver.com/9/115648
RNW, 20.3.12: Dutch PM rejects calls for new elections http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-pm-rejects-calls-new-elections
ESO: Background information: Dutch forced to make further budget cuts http://www.europeansources.info/record/dutch-forced-to-make-further-budget-cuts/
ESO: Background information: EU slams Dutch website for instigating intolerance http://www.europeansources.info/record/eu-slams-dutch-website-for-instigating-intolerance/
RNW, 20.3.12: Critical MP leaves Geert Wilders' Freedom Party http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/critical-mp-leaves-geert-wilders-freedom-party
Dutch News.nl, 20.3.12: Hero Brinkman quits the PVV, opposition call for new elections http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/03/hero_brinkman_quits_the_pvv_op.php
Wikipedia: Hero Brinkman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_Brinkman
Reuters, 20.3.12: Dutch PM loses majority but says no new elections http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/20/us-dutch-politics-idUSBRE82J12W20120320
NRC Handelsblad, 26.3.12: Something’s gone wrong in Tulip Land (via PressEurop) http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/1678551-something-s-gone-wrong-tulip-land

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