Council Lady Sarah Wescott says ”Fall of Dutch Government may delay constitutional renewal process’

The fall of the Dutch Government late Friday night into Saturday may have repercussions for the constitutional renewal process within the Dutch Kingdom, with a delay of six to nine months.  

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With a lame duck Dutch government in place at this point in time, the possibility exist that the various legislation that needs to be handled by the Dutch Parliament won’t take place until after new elections and after a new coalition government has been formed Holland.

Normally, after a government has fallen, pending legislation would have to wait until the next new government takes office.

On Monday, Queen Beatrix will meet with her advisors namely, the Vice President of the Council of State Herman Tjeenk Willink, the chairpersons of the First and Second Chambers of Parliament Rene van der Linden and Gerdi Verbeet, the CDA Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and the two Vice Prime Ministers from the PvdA labour Party Wouter Bos and the Christian Union Andre Rouvoet, of the current demissionaire government.

Dutch elections are scheduled to be held within 90 days once the official notification has been given to the Queen that the Prime Minister no longer enjoys the support of the majority of parliament. Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende gave official notification on Saturday.

Dutch elections may be held in June or July for the 150-member Second Chamber of Parliament.

The issue of Afghanistan brought down the fourth coalition government led by CDA Party Prime Minister Balkenende. The government fell after the CDA and coalition partner the PvDA failed to agree on a NATO request to extend the tour of duty of close to 2000-Dutch military personnel in the Uruzgan region of Afghanistan. Dutch troops have been stationed in that country since 2006 and were to have returned home in 2008.

Another possible repercussion for the constitutional renewal process after the Dutch elections are held is the formation of the next Dutch coalition government, and which parties will make up the new cabinet.

Dutch opinion polls indicate at this point in time that the VVD-Liberal Party (The People’s Party for Freedom & Democracy) and the PPV Party of Geert Wilders (Party for Freedom) will win the elections along with the CDA of Balkenende, and that a possible coalition could be formed by those three parties.

The first polls from Maurice De Hond polling bureau after the fall of the Dutch cabinet indicates that the VVD would get 23 seats, PVV 24 and the CDA 26. The latter is expected to remain the largest political party in Holland.

The VVD and PPV parties have been very critical of the constitutional renewal process within the Dutch Kingdom. Representatives of the PPV have also been very disrespectful towards the political leaders of the Netherlands Antilles as well as towards the people by making derogatory remarks against the latter.

Another possible Dutch coalition scenario would be the CDA, D66 and VVD; the Democrats 66 (D66) has been very supportive of the constitutional renewal process.

Having the CDA as part of a new Dutch coalition, the constitutional renewal process may survive based on the agreements that have been made between all stakeholders concerned. However, a delay in the process of the islands achieving their new constitutional positions on 10-10-10 should not be ruled out.

A possible delay may be from six to nine-months counting from 10-10-10, so we may be looking at April 2011 or July 2011.