Home Europe Geert Wilders says he’s in touching distance of forming right-wing government in Netherlands

Geert Wilders says he’s in touching distance of forming right-wing government in Netherlands

by editor

Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders said Wednesday that he is on the verge of reaching an agreement with potential government allies nearly six months after his electoral triumph.

Amid disagreement over migration policies and state finances, negotiations to form what would be the most right-wing governing coalition in recent Dutch history have persisted since Wilders’ surprising win last year. With around 24 percent, Wilders’ far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) won the most votes of all parties in the November 2023 election.

“I can’t see this fail,” Wilders assured reporters shortly after midnight Tuesday following 16 hours of discussions where parties said they reached consensus on government finances.

While Wilders has moderated some of his extreme language and in March agreed not to pursue the role of prime minister, a coalition led by PVV and including Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the centrist New Social Contract and the populist farmers’ protest party BoerBurgerBeweging would still represent a major shift for the Netherlands.

Wilders had been consistently excluded from government by the outgoing center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte over the past decade.

Following Rutte’s announcement of his withdrawal from Dutch politics last year, Wilders capitalized on anti-immigration sentiment — attributing a housing shortage to the influx of asylum-seekers — to secure electoral victory.

Although specifics of the government agreement have not yet been disclosed, the incoming administration is widely anticipated to introduce stricter asylum and migration policies.

Negotiators are scheduled to continue Wednesday to finalize the agreement and allow all factions to provide feedback before the midnight deadline for the talks.

Wilders is expected to reveal his preferred prime minister candidate, who could be from any of the parties in the planned coalition, on Wednesday.

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