The never seen before: a cabinet crisis before there is a cabinet

There have been more political innovations in The Hague in recent months, but a cabinet crisis before there is a cabinet? That one certainly takes the cake.

The faction leaders of the four forming parties PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB will meet on Friday afternoon in a crisis meeting due to a serious problem in the formation of Schoof’s planned cabinet. The fact that preparation for that cabinet has been so difficult in recent days is mainly due to the appointment by PVV leader Geert Wilders of his desired Minister of Asylum and Migration, a key position in that cabinet.

On Thursday Wilders had to cancel the name of his first candidate, MP Gidi Markuszower. He had not passed the test of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), “with a view to national security”, as stated by the outgoing minister, Hugo de Jonge.

But the next candidate Wilders proposed for the migration post, the prominent PVV Marjolein Faber, arguably sparked even more discussion in The Hague. Faber’s resume is full of offensive statements. Furthermore, in 2015 she refused to resign as a member of the Gelderland Parliament, despite having broken the rules by commissioning her own son to build a website for PVV Gelderland.

Comments like Yesilgöz’s have never been seen before

So far, party leaders have not commented on the qualities of the ministerial candidates nominated by their coalition members. But VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz abruptly broke that habit on Friday morning. At the beginning of the cabinet meeting, he called Faber “not without controversy.” He said he had expressed his concerns about this to Wilders.

Yesilgöz referred to Faber’s “previous statements and tone” and questioned whether that previous behavior “is consistent with the position” of minister. In the Senate, Faber has clashed at least twice in recent years with Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who accused her of forming a “fifth column,” a euphemistic formulation for traitor.

Comments like Yesilgöz’s have never been seen before: a coalition partner questioning a ministerial candidate long before the inauguration of a new cabinet. These statements are fatal for mutual trust. The other two parties, Pieter Omtzigt’s NSC and Caroline van der Plas’ BBB, currently maintain a low profile regarding Faber.

Faber is not on the list

Wilders is in quite a bind with all this. As the leader of the largest party, he has had to swallow many setbacks throughout the formation process. At first he was not allowed to become prime minister. Subsequently, his candidate Ronald Plasterk had to leave the position. This week the departure of Markuszower was added. Should he now have to accept again that Yesilgöz is frustrating one of his, and from within, Yesilgöz’s conferences? Would his followers accept that?

Wilders therefore faces a choice: bow down once more and pull out his dwindling address book for the umpteenth time, or this time stand his ground. He will then have to convince his three fellow trainees of Faber’s ministerial qualities.

Meanwhile, all the names of the candidates for ministers and secretaries of state have been announced, who will meet next Monday and Wednesday with trainer Richard van Zwol. Faber’s name does not appear on that list. But that’s because you still have to pass the IADL test, that is, if it’s still necessary.

Read also: Offensive statements and scandals: Marjolein Faber is also controversial

The political career of PVV politician Marjolein Faber is plagued by spicy statements and scandals. Will he make it to the Schoof cabinet plate?

Extra-parliamentary? The Schoof cabinet looks remarkably like a regular cabinet.

The “broad extra-parliamentary program cabinet” intended by PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB looks remarkably similar to a normal cabinet.

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