Far-right leader Geert Wilders gives up hope of being next Dutch prime minister

Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders Copyright Robin Utrecht/AP2011
Copyright Robin Utrecht/AP2011
By Euronews with AP
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The leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, says he doesn't have the support of likely coalition partners to become Dutch premier

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Anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders said Thursday it is unfair and “constitutionally wrong” that he had to sacrifice his leadership aspirations to pave the way for a right-wing ruling coalition in the Netherlands after his party won the most seats in a November election.

Wilders said Wednesday night that he was giving up his bid, at least for now, to become prime minister because he did not have the full support of all three parties he is negotiating with to form a ruling coalition.

He wrote on X: “I can only become premier if ALL parties in the coalition support that. That wasn’t the case.”

On Thursday, he sounded bitter that he likely will not become prime minister despite his election victory, exposing simmering tensions between possible coalition partners. 

Historically, the leader of the largest party in parliament has become prime minister in the Netherlands.

His comment came after Dutch media, citing unnamed sources, reported a breakthrough in coalition talks on Tuesday night.

It was claimed that the leaders of all four parties involved in drawn-out coalition negotiations would remain in parliament.

This would set up the likelihood of some sort of technical Cabinet consisting of experts

While it now looks like Wilders will not lead the government, he and his Party for Freedom will remain the driving force behind the next administration.

Wilders later added another comment on X to say that, one day, he still wants to be prime minister:

“Don't forget: I will still become premier of the Netherlands,” he said. “With the support of even more Dutch people. If not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow. Because the voice of millions of Dutch people will be heard!”

The PVV leader spent Monday and Tuesday in talks with the leaders of the centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the populist Farmer Citizen Movement and the centrist New Social Contract.

Far-Right gains

Wilders has often called for a ban on mosques, Islamic schools and the Quran. But in a concession to his prospective coalition partners in January, he withdrew draft legislation to implement the bans.

The Netherlands is not alone in seeing a shift to the right.

Far-right parties also are expected to make significant gains in June elections for the European Union's parliament and Portugal's inconclusive result in Sunday's election thrust the populist Chega — or Enough — party into a possible kingmaker's role.

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