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Edith Schippers (left) has been asked to explore the various options for forming a new Cabinet based on the preliminary election result. The Speaker of the House of Representatives Khadija Arib invited her in the Stadholders' Room.

Today, 16 March 2017, the elected party leaders (on the basis of the preliminary election result) came together at the request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Khadija Arib to make known their views on the formation of the new Cabinet. During this consultation it was decided to ask Edith Schippers to carry out an exploration for the debate on the election result. Edith Schippers was widely supported among the party leaders present.

It was also decided that the debate on the election result would take place on Thursday 23 March 2017. Edith Schippers will be asked to present a report of her exploration by the morning of Wednesday 22 March at the latest. This report will be published at that time. Edith Schippers will also be invited to attend the debate in order to answer any questions about his report.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives has also informed – according to the agreement made with the party leaders – His Majesty the King about the results of the meeting.

Explanation of the role of the 'scout'

The role of the 'scout' is not set down in law. The purpose of the scout is to use the days between the official confirmation of the election result (21 March 2017) and the installation of the new House of Representatives (23 March 2017) to make a preliminary exploration of the possibilities for forming a coalition. The findings of the 'scout' can then be incorporated in the debate on the election result.

The debate on the election result should lead to the House of Representatives appointing one or more informateur(s), specifying their remit and timeframe, and the way in which the King should be informed about the formation of the Cabinet.