NSC, Pieter Omtzigt’s party, is “at the moment” not ready to negotiate the formation of a new Dutch government. Omtzigt conveyed that message to scout Ronald Plasterk on Wednesday, he told the Dutch media after that conversation.
Omtzigt still sees obstacles to a coalition with Geert Wilders’ far-right PVV, including in the area of the rule of law. “We think it would be a good idea to first appoint an informant who will explore, along the lines of content, what solutions the parties want for social problems,” Omtzigt is quoted by the Dutch broadcaster NOS. It was not clear exactly how this should proceed.
Wilders had announced during the campaign that he would, for example, put his views on Islam on hold for the time being. But Omtzigt wants more clarity about what exactly the PVV leader means by this. Until then, NSC does not want to talk about a majority or minority government. In the meantime, Omtzigt believes that two informants should inform all parties about the major challenges facing the Netherlands. He also said that he would be happy to make proposals for candidate informants himself.
In a letter to the scout, Omtzigt gives Wilders homework. “In the eyes of the NSC faction, there must first be clarity about the question of whether and how the PVV will play a connecting role in society and in a possible partnership,” writes Omtzigt. “We believe it is important that the PVV first indicates unequivocally which controversial points from its election manifesto are no longer current and from which administrative culture and principles the party wants to make a constructive contribution to national governance in the coming years.”
Regardless of the question of what exactly Wilders’ new course entails, Omtzigt indicates that he sees “many political and substantive obstacles” to working with the PVV. He talks about support for Ukraine, “speculation about a Nexit” and “financial soundness”, among other things. Omtzigt concludes: “All in all, the NSC faction now sees no basis for starting negotiations with the PVV about a majority government or a minority government.”