Geert Wilders’ Anti-Islam Populism Resounds: Landslide Victory in Dutch Elections Sends Ripples Across Europe

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam populist, secured a significant victory in Dutch elections, as indicated by an almost complete vote count early Thursday. This marks a notable shift to the far right for a nation that was once renowned for its tolerance.

The outcome is expected to have repercussions across Europe, where far-right ideologies are gaining traction. Wilders is now positioned to lead discussions to form the next governing coalition and could potentially become the Netherlands’ first far-right prime minister.

With nearly all votes tallied, Wilders’ Party for Freedom is projected to secure 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament—two more than the exit poll suggested and more than double the 17 seats won in the previous election.

In response to his victory, Wilders, in a jubilant tone, stated, “I had to pinch my arm.” Political parties are scheduled to hold separate meetings to analyze the outcome before embarking on the challenging task of forming a new governing coalition on Friday.

Despite his strong rhetoric, Wilders has begun reaching out to other right and center parties, emphasizing in his victory speech that his policies will align “within the law and constitution.”

His election platform included calls for a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, a complete halt to accepting asylum-seekers, and migrant pushbacks at Dutch borders.

Additionally, it advocates for the “de-Islamization” of the Netherlands, opposing the presence of mosques and Islamic schools.

While Wilders’ victory appears to be rooted in his campaign to control migration, he faces the challenge of forming a coalition government, as mainstream parties are hesitant to align with him. Nevertheless, the magnitude of his victory strengthens his position in negotiations.

Wilders called on other parties to engage constructively in coalition talks, and Pieter Omtzigt, a former centrist Christian Democrat, expressed openness to discussions.

The closest party to Wilders in the election was an alliance of the center-left Labor Party and Green Left, forecasted to win 25 seats. However, its leader, Frans Timmermans, ruled out a coalition with Wilders, emphasizing a commitment to defending Dutch democracy.

This historic victory follows the trend of populist and hard-right parties making gains in European elections, reshaping the political landscape in various member nations.

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