POLITICAL PARTIES VOLT NETHERLANDS AND DEMOCRATS 66
”The PVV’s likely victory in Wednesday’s election is partly due to choices made by the VVD, said D66 leader Rob Jetten at his party’s election night celebration in Amsterdam. The VVD pushed voters down this path with “campaign choices on the backs of refugees.” Several other parties agreed, saying VVD leader Dilan Yeşilgöz and her party normalized many far-right opinions.”
D’66 LEADER BLAMES VVD FOR LATE WILDERS
SURGE TO APPARENT ELECTION VICTORY
23 NOVEMBER 2023
The PVV’s likely victory in Wednesday’s election is partly due to choices made by the VVD, said D66 leader Rob Jetten at his party’s election night celebration in Amsterdam. The VVD pushed voters down this path with “campaign choices on the backs of refugees.” Several other parties agreed, saying VVD leader Dilan Yeşilgöz and her party normalized many far-right opinions.
According to Jetten, Yeşilgöz’s party opted for elections over the summer “instead of getting a grip on migration.” He referred to the fourth Cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which collapsed after Rutte took a sudden defiant stance on asylum issues as negotiations between the coalition parties were progressing towards an agreement.
Jetten further warned against the extreme ideas of PVV leader Geert Wilders behind his “so-called moderate tone.” He said, “The politics of intolerance has been normalized while it should never be normal,” at which point the gathered audience cheered and applauded. “Yeşilgöz left the door wide open for Wilders.”
Jetten promised “to continue working against hatred and intolerance in the coming years. Because if one party does that when others remain silent, it is Democrats 66.”
Yeşilgöz denied that her party’s campaign strategy made the PVV the largest party in the Tweede Kamer. The outgoing justice and security minister told NOS and RTL Nieuws that she would not rule out working with the PVV after Wilders took a less radical position in debates, and promised to put to shelve his views on Islam.
“It was not the VVD that made the PVV great. The voters did that,” Yeşilgöz said. “That is what’s going on. If you don’t address it and solve it, you get this.”
Yeşilgöz previously said that she does not want her party to join a Cabinet in which Wilders is prime minister. She also pointed out what she considers to be practical obstacles. “I don’t see a majority, I don’t see it happening.”
Denk party leader Stephan van Baarle would not congratulate PVV leader Geert Wilders on the victory he achieved. Van Baarle also said that Yeşilgöz and others have normalized the “extreme right” in the Netherlands.
Wilders’ profit is a threat to human rights and the rule of law, according to Van Baarle. According to the 32-year-old party leader, this “leads to fear among many people.” Denk must stand up for those people, said Van Baarle. “We will not be intimidated. We will form a shield against far-right rhetoric, and fight for minorities in this country from day one. Denk is needed more than ever in the fight against racism and discrimination. Combating exclusion and hatred of Muslims is part of our DNA.”
Since Hamas launched a bloody surprise attack on Israel on October 7, Denk has mainly been in the news with a fiercely pro-Palestinian position. Van Baarle concluded his election night speech in an Amsterdam-Osdorp with the controversial slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” seen by many Israelis and Jewish people as a call to expel them from Israel as part of a one-state solution to decades of conflict.
Denk party prominent Farid Azarkan said on X that the PVV victory was “a rotten move. Making the PVV the largest! Never thought this would happen in the Netherlands.” He previously announced that he would not return to Parliament, but said on X the PVV victory might push him back into politics.
Wilders himself has already said that he wants a “center-right” Cabinet, in which the VVD can also take part. Wilders obtains 35 seats according to the exit poll, and can achieve a majority together with the VVD (24 seats) and Pieter Omtzigt’s NSC. Omtzigt also previously said that he did not want to cooperate with the PVV, because of the anti-democratic proposals in the PVV program regarding religious freedoms. Omtzigt seemed to soften that stance on Wednesday.
Current coalition party D66 was projected to get 10 seats. During the previous elections, D66 won 24 seats. Jetten called the result a tough pill to swallow. “Double -digits are fantastic, but we had hoped for more,” said the D66 leader.
Denk is expected to retain its current three seats in the Tweede Kamer. Van Baarle said he was proud of that. “I am very happy that we are a beacon of stability.” He added he was hopeful that total could rise as the votes are counted.