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Dutch political parties agreed a right-wing government

Four political factions with together a feasible majority in the Dutch parliament agreed to form a right-wing government

By: EBR - Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2024

The international well known far-right Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders will not become prime minister but, as head of the largest party, may nominate a candidate for this function.
The international well known far-right Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders will not become prime minister but, as head of the largest party, may nominate a candidate for this function.

N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column

Four political factions with together a feasible majority in the Dutch parliament agreed to form a right-wing government. The international well known far-right Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders will not become prime minister but, as head of the largest party, may nominate a candidate for this function. The other parties are the conservative liberal VVD, the centrist New Social Contract (NSC) and the Farmers Citizens Movement (BBB), the smallest of the four, but with a decisive presence in the Dutch senate.

The election results, six months ago, condemned the four to each other. Wilders’ PVV attracted a quarter of the national vote in last November’s election and had to take the lead. His victory stunned European politics, following 14 years of broad-based coalitions led by VVD Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Feeling pity for him is not necessary, his smooth (sometimes called ‘teflon’) way of operating in the Council of EU leaders is likely to provide him the function of NATO Secretary General.

The collaboration between the Dutch Labour party (PvdA) and GreenLeft (GL), led by former EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans, came second in the ballot box. Obviously Frans Timmermans missed enough convincing electoral weight; a centre-left government was never considered a serious option.

The four parties only reached an agreement at the last minute. Otherwise there would almost certainly be new elections. And only Wilders’ party would have taken advantage of it according to recent opinion polls. Yet the new government will be a huge experiment. There has never been much love and trust between the four parties. NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt does not trust Geert Wilders. Dilan Yesilgoz, the successor of Rutte as VVD leader, has to deal with a party divided internally about cooperation with the PVV.

Anyhow, a wind from the right is also blowing in The Netherlands. Which country is next?

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