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Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (House of Representatives)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Staten-Generaal / States General
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal / Senate
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 22 November 2006
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the House of Representatives on 22 November 2006 following the publication of a Royal Decree of 4 September 2006 that called for early elections. Elections to the House of Representatives had previously taken place on 22 January 2003.
On 5 July 2006 the government announced that parliamentary elections would be held on 22 November 2006.

After the last elections held in 2003 Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende formed a centre-right coalition government comprising the Christian Democrats (CDA 44 seats) the free-market People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD 28 seats) and the centrist Democrats-66 (D66 six seats). The Labour Party (PvdA) became the second largest party with 42 seats while the Socialist Party (SP) took nine seats. In September 2004 a group led by Mr. Geert Wilders broke from the VVD to found the Party for Freedom in disagreement with the VVD's position over Turkey's accession to the European Union.

The coalition collapsed in late June 2006 when the D66 withdrew from the government following a row in parliament over the citizenship of Somali-born parliamentarian Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali (VVD). Prime Minister Balkenende led a caretaker government until the elections in which 24 parties and 683 candidates including 207 women participated.

The main electoral issues included economic reforms and immigration policies. Mr. Balkenende called on voters to support the strong economic recovery under his government and criticized the PvdA's plans to tax pensioners. The PvdA argued that the government was asking too much from citizens with low and medium income and not enough from the country's richest citizens. The SP leader Mr. Jan Marijnissen said he would put an end to excessive economic liberalism.

Mr. Balkenende also pledged to continue his tough immigration policies insisting that illegal immigrants should be deported. The Immigration Minister Ms. Rita Verdonk (VVD) said that if reelected the government would ban the wearing of full-length veils (burqas) in public. The PvdA leader Mr. Wouter Bos insisted on the importance of the country's tradition of multi-culturalism and tolerance. The left-wing opposition argued in favour of a general pardon for an estimated 26000 asylum seekers whose applications had been previously turned down.

80.35 per cent of the 12 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

Neither the right nor the left won a clear majority. The Prime Minister's centre-right CDA remained the largest party with 41 seats. The VVD won 22 the Party for Freedom took nine and the D66 three. The main left-wing opposition the PvdA remained the second largest party with 33 seats. The SP won 25 seats 16 more than in 2003 thus becoming the fourth largest party. The Green Left won seven seats while the centre-left Christian Union took six.

The newly-elected House of Representatives held its first session on 30 November 2006. On 6 December 2006 Ms. Gerdi Verbeet of the PvdA was elected Speaker at the third round of voting.

Following a political stalemate over the formation of a new government Mr. Balkenende continued to act as caretaker Prime Minister.

On 7 February 2007 the CDA the PvdA and the Christian Union agreed to form a new coalition government once again led by Mr. Balkenende. On 22 February Queen Beatrix swore in Mr. Balkenende's fourth government thus ending three months of political stalemate.
Voter turnout
Round no 122 November 2006
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
9'854'998 (80.35%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 74 2'608'573
Labour Party (PvdA) 80 2'085'077
Socialist Party (SP) 75 1'630'803
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) 71 1'443'312
Party for Freedom (GW/PvdV) 20 579'490
Green Left 30 453'054
Christian Union 29 390'969
Democrats 66 (D66) 40 193'232
Reformed Political Party (SGP) 30 153'266
Party for the Animals (PvdD) 42 179'988
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 41 12
Labour Party (PvdA) 33 16
Socialist Party (SP) 25 9
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) 22 8
Party for Freedom (GW/PvdV) 9 1
Green Left 7 4
Christian Union 6 2
Democrats 66 (D66) 3 1
Reformed Political Party (SGP) 2 0
Party for the Animals (PvdD) 2 2
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- IPU Group of the Netherlands (28.11.2006 01.01.2008 01.01.2010)
- House of Representatives (30.11.2006 20.11.2008)

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