Match-making: Dutch coalition building process begins

AP News
Posted: Mar 20, 2017 6:40 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An initial round of match-making talks to investigate possible new Dutch ruling coalitions has started in parliament following last week's elections.

Edith Schippers, health minister in Prime Minister Mark Rutte's last coalition, on Monday began one-on-one discussions with party leaders about their preferences for the next Cabinet.

Analysts say that the splintered Dutch political landscape — 13 parties won seats in the 150-seat lower house — will likely lead to a long and complicated Cabinet formation.

First into the talks Monday was Rutte, whose party won the most seats and is therefore most likely to lead the next government. Rutte told reporters that he wants a "stable majority Cabinet." That means a coalition of at least four different parties.

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