The Dutch will go to the polls on Wednesday to choose the successor to the outgoing prime minister, Mark Rutte, who marked the country’s political life for the past 13 years and was nicknamed by Mr. Teflon, because of his resistance to all crises.
Last July he had to resign after the Executive was fired due to disagreements within the coalition over the asylum policy. These elections were held in an environment of maximum uncertainty marked by the rise in the polls of the far-right of Geert Wilders. Whatever happens, it is believed that the negotiations to form a government will be difficult and last for many months.
According to polls released by Marice de Hond, Wilders’ far-right party could win the same number of seats as the liberals, Rutte’s party, and the two forces could each win 26 of the 150 hemicycle seats. Although it seems impossible for Wilders to become prime minister, his party called the Freedom Party (PVV, for its acronym in Dutch) may hold the key to government and set the course of Dutch politics for years to come. in a country where The challenge of immigration is an explosive dossier and a scandal of institutional racism has been discovered. to persecute immigrants who receive public assistance and who are accused of fraud without evidence.
These surveys warning of the rise of the far right caused the left parties to mobilize in the last part of the campaign to request a cordon sanitaire against the Freedom Party. They ensured that the new leader of the liberals and Rutte’s successor, Dilan Yesilgöz Zegerius, excluded the possibility of reaching an agreement with Wilders and forming a coalition. It seems that it has begun to control the positions of the leader of the Freedom Party who in a recent interview showed himself open to softening his measures on immigration, although he has not yet apologized for one speech in which he called for “less Moroccans”, some words for which he was convicted in court.
The most surprising thing is that the new leader of the liberals is 46 years old and arrived in the Netherlands from Turkey as an asylum seeker. Despite this, he believes that immigration should be limited. “We need to reduce that number so that we have a safe place for real refugees,” he recently declared at a rally after explaining that “I came to this country as a refugee in that’s eight and I know what it means to seek. freedom and seek security.” Despite his omnipresence in Dutch political gatherings and the fact that polls put him in the lead and in a very close position to Wilders, his critics accuse him of not proposing new solutions and has a vague political program limited to the defense of change. politics of the country without explaining how to do it.
Former commissioner Frans Timmermans who heads the new coalition of Labor and Greens called on leftist voters to mobilize. «It is evident that Mrs. Yesilgöz opens the door for Wilders in the Government. “This means that someone who reduces a million Dutch people (in reference to Muslims) to second-class citizens can participate in the direction of the country.” Although Rutte never formed a government coalition with Wilders, in his first term he received support from the far-right formation, but this situation changed when Wilders withdrew his support in 2012 due to disagreement over the austerity policy and it led Rutte to call for elections. Since then, Mr. Teflon has consistently refused to agree with the far-right leader.
In any case, it is difficult to predict who will replace Rutte in the face of such a fragmented party landscape and with a proportional system like the Dutch, where coalitions of three or four common forces. We also need to pay attention to Pieter Omtzigt, who ran in the elections with a new party called the New Social Contract and who said that he would never govern the extreme right, despite the fact that his newly launched that political force also promotes a strong line against immigration and a reform of the Dutch State.