Geert Wilders WITHDRAWS policies in bid to become Dutch Prime Minister

It remains to be seen whether other party leaders are willing to back a Wilders-led Government.

It remains to be seen whether other party leaders are willing to back a Wilders-led Government.

Michael  Heaver

By Michael Heaver

Published: 09/01/2024

- 15:50

After winning the Dutch Election, Geert Wilders is attempting to put together an alliance willing to back him as Prime Minister

The Dutch Election took place in November and we're still not much closer to knowing the composition of the Netherlands's next Government.

Geert Wilders shocked Europe by topping the polls, his party gaining 20 seats and winning 37 overall.

To put that into context, the second-placed Labour/Green alliance bagged 25 seats.

Strikingly, since the election result there has been a further boost in support for Wilders' party, with one poll putting support at 30 per cent.

That would mean Geert Wilders' and his allies winning 47 out of 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament.

But such is the Dutch political system, underpinned by proportional representation, that Wilders still requires willing coalition partners if he is to become Prime Minister.

The process seems to have highlighted one viable path to power for him. It requires the Farmer Citizen Movement, conservative VVD and independent MP Pieter Omtzigt's New Social Contract party to back him.

Negotiations are ongoing and so far it seems only the Farmer Citizen Movement, who would be the junior partner with 7 seats, are keen on such an alliance.

Now it seems Wilders is ready to make concessions to get a deal done with the other party leaders.

Three pieces of draft legislation have been withdrawn, including banning expressions of Islam.

It seems a proposal to stop dual nationals from voting or holding office have also been shelved.

Speaking about his new approach, Wilders has said: “Sometimes I will have to withdraw proposals and I will do that.

"I will show the Netherlands, the legislature, Mr. Omtzigt's party - anybody who wants to hear it - that we will adapt our rules to the constitution and bring our proposals in line with it.”

Will it be enough to convince all three likely coalition partners to back a government led by Geert Wilders? They will now need to decide whether they can do so - or whether the country will be heading back to the polls sooner rather than later.

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