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Dutch Politics

Dutch Parliament

In The Netherlands, parliament is made up of two chambers. The first is a 150-member chamber known as the Lower House or the Second Chamber, elected quadrennially along with provincial parliaments. Only political parties can influence the Second Chamber. Its powers are listed as follows:

  • Budget approvals and right of legal initiative
  • Right to submit amendments
  • Right to start its own inquiries
  • Right of interpellation

The other chamber is referred to as the First Chamber, even though it is less important. It is also known as the Senate and consists of 75 members. Powers afforded to this part of parliament are as follows:

  • Reject or approve all laws without the right to amendment

Collectively, the First and Second Chambers form the State-General

As in the UK, the head of state is the leading monarch who in this case is the King. As the monarchy is of a constitutional nature, the King is referred to as a nominal head of state. His role is predominantly that of representation as he attends several functions. However, the King is afforded the power to nominate all mayors and the politicians that govern following an election. When a law is passed successfully, the King signs it as such.

Much like the UK, the Prime Minister is the head of state. He or she will be the leader of the political party that wins the most seats in an election. This leader is usually tasked to form a new government by the King. This will usually be a coalition of political parties.

The Constitution is a legal document that lists the basic civil and social rights that are afforded to all citizens of the Netherlands. It also outlines the function of institutions that hold executive, judiciary as well as legislative powers.