Veteran Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders on Saturday (25/11) promised to become prime minister of the Netherlands. This assurance was made after his party succeeded in winning in the elections held last week.
In a long post on the X platform, formerly Twitter, he expressed his frustration with other parties for their reluctance to cooperate with the Freedom Party (PVV). Wilders said he would “continue to moderate” his positions if necessary to gain power.
“Today, tomorrow or the next day, the PVV will be part of the government and I will be prime minister of this beautiful country,” Wilders wrote.
Although Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) is well ahead of its rivals in the November 22 vote on its anti-immigration platform, it is expected to win only 25 percent of the seats in the Dutch parliament.
This means he will have to work with at least two moderate parties to form a government.
On Friday (24/11), the conservative VVD party led by interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that it would not participate in Wilders’ joint cabinet. Rutte himself shares many of Wilders’ views on immigration.
But the new leader of the VVD, Dilan Yesilgoz, said he did not rule out offering external support to Wilders’ government.
Pieter Omtzigt, who leads the centrist NSC Party and is also seen as a partner in Wilders’ government, said cooperation would be difficult. This is because the extreme position expressed by Wilders appears to violate the Dutch constitutional protection of religious freedom.
Dutch coalition talks usually take months, and attitudes regarding the parties’ willingness to work together can change over time.
If Wilders fails to form a government, the possibility of a more centrist coalition without involving the PVV is theoretically possible, while new elections are a last option. (ah/ft)