Who is Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right party that won the elections in the Netherlands?
Geert Wilders’ Far-Right Party Emerges Victorious in Dutch Elections, Eyes Prime Minister Role
Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), is on the brink of assuming the role of the Netherlands’ next prime minister following his party’s triumph in the recent general elections. The PVV secured 37 out of 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament, surpassing contenders like the left-wing alliance GroenLinks–PvdA (25 seats) and the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) (24 seats).
To ascend to the position of prime minister, Wilders must now navigate coalition negotiations with potential partners from other parties. The current speculation points towards a coalition involving the PVV, VVD, the New Social Contract, and the Peasant-Citizen Movement, as reported by NOS. However, VVD leader Dilan Yesilgoz has declared her party’s reluctance to participate in the cabinet, complicating the formation process.
Geert Wilders, who initially started his political career within the VVD but later split to establish the PVV, is known for his anti-Islamic stance. The party’s platform includes proposals to expel illegal immigrants, ban mosques and Islamic schools, restrict the use of veils in government buildings, and limit the number of foreign students. Despite maintaining these views, Wilders has hinted at a willingness to soften some of the stricter measures, such as the ban on mosques, in order to secure a place in the new cabinet.
In the wake of the election results, Wilders emphasized the need for cooperation among parties, stating, “The campaign is over; we must seek common ground, work together. Each party must overcome its shadow.” However, the formation of the new government faces challenges, with the VVD’s decision not to participate posing a significant hurdle.
Originally slated for 2025, the elections were moved up after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire cabinet resigned in July due to a lack of consensus within the ruling coalition on immigration management. The outcome of coalition negotiations will shape the political landscape and policies of the Netherlands in the coming years.