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Second Kok cabinet

Second Kok cabinet in 1998

The Second cabinet of Wim Kok was the government of the Netherlands headed by Prime Minister Wim Kok during 1998 to 2002.

After the elections to the House of Representatives on 6 May 1998, the allocation of the 150 seats was:
Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) 45
Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) 38
Christen Democratisch Appèl (CDA) 29
Democraten 66 (D66) 14
GroenLinks (GL) 11
Socialistische Partij (SP) 5
ChristenUnie (CU) 5
Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP) 3

ChristenUnie was formed from the combination of two parties, GPV and RPF, which had contested the elections separately.

The new cabinet was the successor of the first cabinet of Wim Kok and was formed from the same coalition of PvdA, VVD and D66. It was also known as the 'tweede paarse kabinet' ('second purple cabinet') called such because it contained both the social-democratic PvdA (red) and the liberal VVD (blue). The aim of the cabinet was to continue the policy of cabinet Kok I, which was concerned with economizing, tax reduction and making an end to unemployment. Wim Kok was the prime minister, Annemarie Jorritsma as the vice-prime minister for the VVD, and Els Borst for D66. The cabinet was considered boring, because both left-wing and right-wing political parties were a part of it. There was no strong opposition in the parliament.

The cabinet completed processes of liberalisation which were started by the previous cabinet: the legalisation of prostitution in 2000, same-sex marriage in 2001 and Euthanasia in 2002.

This cabinet was notable for resigning twice. The first time was in May 1999, when D66 stepped out of the coalition when proposed legislation entered by this party was blocked; through negotiations the crisis was solved and the cabinet stayed together. The second and final time was on 16 April 2002, just one month before the next election, when prime minister Kok wished to resign over the NIOD report into the genocide of Srebrenica in 1995 and the other ministers had no choice but to follow him. The Second Kok cabinet remained in place as a caretaker cabinet until 22 July 2002, when it was replaced by the first Balkenende cabinet.


Prime minister, General Affairs Wim Kok PvdA
Vice Prime Minister, Economic Affairs Annemarie Jorritsma VVD
Vice Prime Minister, Public health, Wellbeing and Sports Els Borst D66
Foreign Affairs Jozias van Aartsen VVD
Justice Benk Korthals VVD
Interior and Kingdom Affairs Bram Peper PvdA resigned March 13, 2000
Roger van Boxtel D66 13–24 March 2000
Klaas de Vries PvdA March 24, 2000
Education, Culture and Sciences Loek Hermans VVD
Finance Gerrit Zalm VVD
Defense Frank de Grave VVD
Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment Jan Pronk PvdA
Transport and Water Tineke Netelenbos PvdA
Agriculture, Nature Management and Fishery Haijo Apotheker D66 resigned June 7, 1999
Laurens Jan Brinkhorst D66 from June 8, 1999
Social Affairs and Employment Klaas de Vries PvdA resigned March 24, 2000
Willem Vermeend PvdA March 24, 2000
Development cooperation Eveline Herfkens PvdA
Large cities and integration policy Roger van Boxtel D66

State Secretaries

See also State Secretary (Netherlands) for a detailed description of the function.

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