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The Labour Party became the largest party in the House of Representatives, after an arduous cabinet formation with the conservative liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the social liberal Democrats 66 (D66) a deal was struck that resulted in the Cabinet Kok I, with Kok as Prime Minister.It was considered groundbreaking in Dutch politics this was the first Cabinet of the Netherlands since 1908 without a Christian democratic party.Moreover, the "polder model" went out of fashion in early 2002, which saw the rise of Pim Fortuyn, a political newcomer.On 16 April 2002, close to the natural end of term for the cabinet, prime minister Kok wished to resign over the report by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies regarding the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 and the other ministers had no choice but to follow him.During his premiership, his cabinets were responsible for implementing several social reforms, stimulating the economy for more employment and privatization and further reducing the deficit.As a result of this, and because of his skills as manager and negotiator, Kok obtained the status of a statesman by his fellow European leaders.
He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 22 August 1994 until 22 July 2002.
Soon after the election Joop den Uyl the Leader of the Labour Party and Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives announced that he was stepping down after serving twenty years as Leader of the Labour Party.
Kok was elected to succeed him and became Party leader of the Labour Party and the Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives on 21 July 1986 and served as Opposition leader during the parliamentary period of the Cabinet Lubbers II.
The Srebrenica massacre occurred under the responsibility of this government, which eventually led to the fall of the second Kok cabinet.
In the 1998 general election, Kok again as top candidate gained eight seats; the coalition retained its majority, and cabinet formation resulted in a continuation of policies with the Cabinet Kok II.