Geert Wilders (L) of the Dutch PVV party speaks during the debate on the final report of informant Ronald Plasterk, in The Hague, The Netherlands, 14 February 2024. EPA-EFE/SEM VAN DER WAL


Wilders suggests new lead negotiator for Dutch Cabinet formation


Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders has suggested Kim Putters, chairman of the Social Economic Council (SER) and member of the Socialist Party, to be the lead negotiator in the formation of a new Cabinet.

Wilders referred to “a short interim phase of a few weeks to prise something loose” during the discussion of a report by current incumbant Ronald Plasterk.

The PVV leader suggested that Putters, whom Wilders stated was willing to become lead negotiator, have discussions with all group leaders, particularly over the form a new Cabinet may take. Wilders remains optimistic about a right-wing majority.

There seems to be a majority in the House of Representatives in favour of Wilders’ proposal, including from the Left.

Putters serves as the chair of the SER, a leading advisory group for the Government that is composed of a range of specialists that the Government appoints. They are, for example, involved with the signing of social agreements.

In 2019 he wrote in a book about the “smouldering difficulties” in society, including rising socioeconomic inequality.

With the centrist NSC party of Pieter Omtzigt having left the Cabinet negotiations last week, all forms of government are on the table. That could be a majority government, a minority government (with or without parliamentary support), an extra-parliamentary government, or a business government.

In a plenary debate on February 14, Dilan Yesilgöz of the Liberal VVD party, said: “An extra-parliamentary cabinet is now the most realistic of the remaining options, given the election results, with three big winners, and the broad desire for a new political and administrative culture.

“And we ask NSC to do the same. Because from responsible and professional parties, the Netherlands should expect more than repeating what you don’t want.”

During the debate, Omtzigt expressed his preference to examine the idea of forming a minority cabinet consisting of PVV, VVD and BBB initially.

An extra-parliamentary, or technocratic Cabinet, would then be possibilities.

He restated that he had been “not quite right” in the way NSC ended the talks with the other parties last week but that he still stood by the decision.

Omtzigt did acknowledge that the PVV has made “serious moves” toward upholding the legislation but added that differences between himself and Wilders remained too substantial at present.