Far-Right Leader Says He Won't Be Next Dutch PM

Geert Wilders says he doesn't have enough support from coalition partners
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2024 4:22 AM CDT
Geert Wilders Says He Won't Be Next Dutch PM
Geert Wilders talks to the media in The Hague, Netherlands, on Nov. 24, 2023.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

Geert Wilders, whose anti-Islam, anti-immigration rhetoric swept him to a stunning victory in the November election, said Wednesday he doesn't have the support of his prospective coalition partners to become the next Dutch prime minister. Wilders took to X to say that "I can only become premier if ALL parties in the coalition support that. That wasn't the case." More, from the AP:

  • His comment came after Dutch media reported, citing unnamed sources, that a breakthrough in coalition talks announced Tuesday night was that the leaders of all four parties involved in drawn-out coalition negotiations would remain in parliament.

  • That sets up the likelihood of some sort of technical Cabinet made up of experts. While it now looks like Wilders will not lead the government, he and his Party for Freedom will remain the driving force behind the next administration.
  • Wilders later added another comment on X to say that, one day, he still wants to be prime minister. "Don't forget: I will still become premier of the Netherlands," he said. "With the support of even more Dutch people. If not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow. Because the voice of millions of Dutch people will be heard!"

  • After the Nov. 22 elections, Wilders' party holds 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house of the Dutch parliament. The four parties in government talks hold a combined 88 seats, giving them a comfortable majority.
  • Polls since the election show that support for Wilders' party continues to grow. "I really wanted a right-wing Cabinet. Less asylum and immigration. Dutch people number 1," Wilders said on X. "The love for my country and voter is bigger and more important than my own position."
  • The rise of the populist far right in a polarized political landscape has been underway for years in Europe but Wilders' election victory still came as a shock to the Netherlands and well beyond. Wilders has often called for a ban on mosques, Islamic schools, and the Quran, but in a concession to his prospective coalition partners in January, he withdrew draft legislation to implement the bans.
(More Geert Wilders stories.)

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