AMSTERDAM -- The Netherlands is facing political uncertainty after the Christian Democrats retained power in the general election but failed to win a majority in parliament. Jan Peter Balkenende, the Prime Minister, won 41 seats in the 150-seat parliament and could not claim a majority even if his Government renewed an alliance with the liberal VVD party.
The opposition Labour party lost 10 seats and now has 32 as voters switched to the far-left Socialists, who almost tripled their representation to 26 places. The far right anti- immigration Party for Freedom won nine seats, a reminder of voters’ concerns about Muslim integration.
The Christian Democrats and Labour differ on many important issues that could mean battles in government over tax, pensions and immigration policy, which would make a coalition unlikely, experts said. (Reuters)
Dutch general election, 2006
Socialist Party (Netherlands)