Amsterdam, Netherlands — The Dutch government resigned Friday over a failed attempt to strip a prominent Somali-born critic of Islam of her Dutch citizenship - setting the stage for elections likely to be dominated by immigration issues.
The smallest party in the ruling coalition, D-66, brought down the government when it refused Thursday to work with hard-line Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk and accused her of damaging the country's reputation with her bungled attempt to revoke the passport of former lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende visited Queen Beatrix on Friday morning to tell her of his government's decision to resign. No date for elections was immediately announced.
The queen will meet with the leaders of each of the parties. Together with a special royal adviser, they will assess whether there is support for Balkenende to continue with a minority conservative government until after next year's budget is announced in September or whether to schedule new elections as soon as possible.