The Parliament of Netherlands opened its new legislature this Wednesday under the rule of far rightthe force with the most votes in the elections held two weeks ago, although still far from achieving the majority required by their leader, Geert Wilders, to become prime minister. The call Freedom Party (PVV) de Wilders has 37 of the 150 seats in the Hague House. But so far it has only declared minority and populist support Peasants’ Party (BBB), with six seats.
The two conservative formations that Wilders first tested, the liberals of the outgoing prime minister Mark Rutte and the new centrist formation NSC, with 24 and 20 seats, respectively, were not ready to support him. Rutte, who last summer fueled calls for early elections by announcing his retirement, handed over the reins of his party to the Minister of Justice, Dilan Yesilgöz. This policy, daughter of refugees but representative of hard line against immigration, refused to enter a government with Wilders, although he could support a minority executive led by the so-called “Dutch Trump.” The NSC currently does not support any option that gives the key to power to Wilders.
The extreme right rose against the odds as the first election force on November 22, followed by the bloc between the social democrats and greens of the former vice president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans. Therefore, Wilders has the first task of trying to form a government. His party already has experience as a partner in the executive in The Hague during the first two years of Rutte’s power. The collapse of the coalition was followed by a close rivalry, both personal and political, between the far-right leader and the liberal prime minister, who vetoed him as a colleague of all his subsequent executives.
Political fragmentation complicates the search for allies
That Wilders does not yet have the allies he needs came to The Hague without much surprise. Remember that Rutte needed until 271 days in its last legislature to achieve the support it needs, mainly due to the very fragmented Dutch parliamentary spectrum, with a total of 14 parties for 150 seats in the chamber. Rutte’s ambitions to succeed Norwegian are well known Jens Stoltenberg as secretary general of I’LL TAKE ITbut for now he has committed to remain in office as long as necessary until the formation of the next government.
The search for partners got off to a bad start, as the first mediator between potential allies, from Wilders’ right-wing party, resigned before formally starting his work amid accusations of corruption. The mediator’s position has been passed to the social democrat Ronald Plasterk, who is currently asking for time and caution in his work to examine the parties.
Wilders, 60, is an established leader among European far right family. For more than 20 years he was looking for his opportunity to seize power and, at the same time, was looking for the ultra vote with positions that earned him accusations of inciting violence.
His party is one man and includes more than controversial and unconstitutional aspects, such as the closing of mosques and the banning of the Koran. But since his unexpected victory he has smoothed his programmatic rough edges somewhat. Despite his declared Islamophobia, he no longer considers his plans against the Muslim community as the goals of his future government. It was precisely the possible unconstitutionality of some of his proclamations that alienated the leader from the centrist NSC, Pieter Omtzigtto join a government alliance with the far-right leader.