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Dutch News
GroenLinks: question candidate ministers 1/28/2007
AMSTERDAM – The green-left GroenLinks party wants Parliament to hold hearings with candidate ministers before they are appointed.

The party, led by Femke Halsema, has drawn up a proposal to change the standing orders of Parliament to make this possible.

GroenLinks hopes that the parliamentary debate on this matter can take place in February, in time for hearings to be held with candidates for the new government.

Questions could be posed about the suitability of a candidate or about his or her past.

GroenLinks thinks it important that not just the faction leaders of the prospective coalition parties and the facilitator of the talks determine the course of the appointments.

GroenLinks does not want to go so far as to give Parliament the right to have a say in the appointing of ministers. The Constitution stipulates that the head of state and the prime minister appoint the government members.

The Labour PvdA is positive about the proposal from GroenLinks. The Christian Democrat CDA and fundamentalist Christian SGP are less so, because they say Parliament already influences the appointments.

The Liberal VVD and Democrat D66 have doubts about the proposal. The Liberals have pointed out that Parliament and the Cabinet each have their own responsibilities and that Parliament should therefore not meddle in the formation process of the Cabinet.

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