4 Dutch parties say they've reached agreement on ministers in a new right-wing government

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Far-right leader Geert Wilders says the four parties negotiating to form a coalition government in the Netherlands have reached agreement on a new team of ministers

ByMIKE CORDER Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The four parties negotiating to form a coalition government in the Netherlands have reached agreement on a new team of Cabinet ministers, far-right leader Geert Wilders said Tuesday. It's another key step toward forming the first Dutch government led by a far-right party.

Wilders, whose Party for Freedom won national elections more than six months ago, did not immediately give details.

“There is a deal, you'll hear more in the coming hours, days,” Wilders told reporters in The Hague.

The team of ministers will be made up of members of the four parties in the coalition and outside experts — a so-called technocratic administration.

Prospective ministers will have to undergo interviews in the lower house of parliament before the new government can be sworn in by Dutch King Willem-Alexander. No dates were immediately set.

Anti-Islam lawmaker Wilders convincingly won the November election but took months to cobble together an outline coalition deal. Wilders, a divisive figure who has in the past been convicted of insulting Moroccans, agreed not to become prime minister because of opposition from coalition partners.

Former intelligence agency chief Dick Schoof was named last week as the candidate to replace outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Wilders is building a coalition with Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the populist Farmer Citizen Movement and the centrist New Social Contract party.

A deal published by the parties outlining their policy objectives pledges to introduce strict measures on asylum-seekers, scrap family reunification for refugees and reduce the number of international students studying in the country.

Analysts and some civil servants have questioned whether some of the policies are legally or constitutionally possible to enact.

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