Mark Rutte resigned as the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in July last, and the election of the new Prime Minister took place on November 22. The election was called after the fourth and final coalition of Mark Ruttle disagreed on measures to rein in migration. He has been in office for 13 years, making him the Netherlands’ longest-serving leader.
With nearly all votes counted, Geert Wilders, a popular anti-Islamist leader, said he is ready to join the next Dutch coalition government after surging to a huge election victory that “marked a stunning lurch to the far right for a nation once famed as a beacon of tolerance.”
Wilders said that the PVV — the Dutch abbreviation for his Party of Freedom — is going to be in the next cabinet. PVV was forecast to win 37 seats in a 250-seat lower house of parliament. It is more than double what the party won in the previous election.
The Prime Minister-designate is a far-right ideologue. His election program includes calls for a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, a halt to accepting asylum-seekers, and migrant pushbacks at Dutch borders.
More importantly, Wilders’ coming to power is interpreted by his party ideologues as “de-Islamization of the Netherlands. He is reported to have declared no mosques or Islamic schools in the country, although he was milder about Islam during the election campaign than in the past.
By strange coincidence, one of the most prominent Muslim organizations in the Netherlands said it had received emails expressing support since the election.
Despite exuding harsh rhetoric, Wilders has begun approaching other conservative and centrist parties by saying in a victory speech that whatever policies he pushes will be within the law and constitution.
Why Disgusted With Extra Left
Some commentators give him leverage for an anti-left stance. Historically, the Dutch have been the most tolerant people in Europe. But its tolerance and soft law, coupled with sympathy for genuine asylum seekers, have been grossly misused by many Asian and African asylum seekers in the Netherlands.
These asylum seekers, mainly carrying fake documents, have been the recipients of Dutch largesse. But, as they are primarily ruffians and swindlers, they quickly fell into the culture of violence. They made the Netherlands the hub of fake asylum seekers and a hotbed of terrorist activities, so much so that the Dutch policy had to make out the lists of these free criminals.
The Netherlands became a transit camp for terrorists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and some African countries where fighting had broken out between the gangsters and the state authorities. The previous Dutch governments either did not understand the gravity of this phenomenon or could not rise to the occasion.
The Left Reaction In Motion
The leftists in Europe have been reacting adversely to Wilders’ success and a significant shift in the Netherlands’ strategy and relations with the EU. Netherlands’s long-time ruling party said it wouldn’t form a coalition government with the ultra-right.
Lemond published a commentary titled “Praise and fear after Dutch populist Wilders’ election win.” The Economist asserted that the Dutch Freedom Party has much less clear ideas of how to pay for populist policies.
Only those parties will become partners in Wilders’ Freedom Party that endorses his party’s platform: “The Netherlands is not an Islamic country. No Islamic schools, Qurans and mosques,” wrote the Daily Motion.
The shift of political power to right-wing politicians is significant for several reasons. The Netherlands is an essential member of the EU and is strategically located on the European continent.
For many decades, it had become a sheltering or a hiding place for international criminals. The Netherlands had added political importance with the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
First, the power shift in the Netherlands is an alarming signal to the nationalist ideologues of the EU that the winds of change will be sweeping through Europe.
Even the East European countries with leftist affiliation will also hail the significant and consequential change in the Netherlands as it is bound to convey to the European hard-heads that reforming their traditional strategies cannot be delayed too long.
Wilders’ party has promised to reduce the Netherlands’ financial contribution significantly and intends to oppose further enlargement. He calls for the abolition of European regulations for Agriculture and Fisheries, banning the European flag from official Dutch buildings, and even the country’s exit from the EU, which has caused consternation in Brussels.