NOTES AT THE INTRODUCTION
ARTICLE AT WILDERS PHOTO AT MY ARTICLE
DIVISIVE WILDERS STUNNED BY PVV VICTORY, PLEDGES TO
GOVERN FOR ALL PEOPLE
22 NOVEMBER 2023
Dutch politician Geert Wilders expressed enthusiasm and pride after leading his far-right PVV party to victory in the 2023 General Election. The first exit poll showed that his party will win 35 of the 150 seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch Parliament. The exit poll has a margin of 1-2 seats. The question will be if the controversial politician can cobble together a coalition to form a Cabinet, but he seemed to have the support of right-wing parties NSC and BBB.
“35 seats! The biggest party in the Netherlands!” he shouted to his supporters in Scheveningen at the PVV’s election party on Wednesday night. He asked for other parties to join the PVV in forging a new path forward, not burdened by “their own shadows.” He said his party can no longer be ignored, because it would be “very undemocratic,” and “voters would not accept it.”
He told the gathered crowd, “We are going to govern,” and said he was ready to be the leader for all Dutch people, and to find solutions “within the legal and constitutional framework.” However, Wilders may face an uphill battle when he tries to form a coalition government. The PVV will need the support of at least two, and likely several more parties in order to hold majority support in either house of Parliament.
The PVV wants stricter limits on immigration in the Netherlands, and he wants people to keep more of their money in their pocketbook, while returning “healthcare and security back to a state of order.”
Can Wilders gain support from other parties to form a coalition?
Wilders could potentially form a coalition if he can convince the right-wing parties VVD, NSC and BBB to join him. The three parties are projected to win 24, 20 and 7 seats, respectively. That would give them 86 seats in total, a dominant majority.
“I have 100 percent confidence that we will get into the Cabinet,” said BBB leader Caroline van der Plas, noting that 2.5 million people cast a ballot for the PVV. “You cannot ignore that. We will go into these negotiations very seriously. Wilders has promised several things. We will see whether he sticks to them.”
Wilders was excluded from coalition talks by multiple parties for several consecutive elections. This year, the PVV leader announced that he wanted to govern in the next Cabinet instead of being an opposition leader, and he was willing to step back on his anti-Islam position to do so. His party quickly climbed in the polls after this statement, but the other poll leaders were skeptical about his suddenly milder tone.
He reiterated that stance on Wednesday, saying he would be a prime minister for all Dutch people. “Regardless of where you come from, and what your faith is.”
NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt softened his stance on the prospect of working with Wilders on Wednesday. Omtzigt also spoke about moving forward on Wednesday, saying the NSC was willing to be closely involved in the Cabinet formation process. “We are available to translate this trust into action from tomorrow. We are going to take responsibility. We have plans and we can implement them. But it will not be easy,” Omtzigt said.
Earlier this month, Omtzigt said it would not be possible to form a government with Wilders. He noted that the PVV does not demonstrate its respect for freedom of religion in its election program. “That is the obstacle to cooperation in the government,” Omtzigt said. “As a party you can only form a government with parties that adhere to classical fundamental rights.”
VVD leader Dilan Yeşilgöz didn’t believe the change in tune, though her party initially seemed to leave the door open to work with the PVV. This week, she toughened her stance as Wilders surged in the polls, and said the VVD would not take part in a Cabinet if Wilders was to be the next prime minister. She said he “would not be prime minister for all people.”
Yeşilgöz did not make it clear if her position has changed following the initial election results. She only said the party would consider its options. Her predecessor, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, previously said his biggest political mistake was forming his first coalition, a minority Cabinet, with the support of Wilders’ PVV. The Cabinet fell shortly after its formation.
“It is the same Wilders who has been sowing division for 19 years,” said Frans Timmermans, the leader of left-wing GroenLinks-PvdA during the recent campaign. He continued his tough position, saying his party would not participate in a coalition with the PVV.
FURTHER ON 1A ABOUT PVV FASCISM
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