Netherlands: New government with right-wing populist Wilders is in place

As of: May 15, 2024 5:24 p.m

The Netherlands is getting a new government: almost six months after the parliamentary elections, the right-wing populist Wilders and three other right-wing parties have agreed on a coalition. However, it is still unclear who will become head of government.

After long negotiations, four parties in the Netherlands have agreed on a new government coalition. This was announced by right-wing populist Geert Wilders in The Hague. His and three other right-wing parties agreed on a common program.

The contents of the agreement have not been made public. First, the parliamentary groups that also have to agree should be informed. It was said that the formation of the government could be sealed in the evening.

However, one of the most important questions is still open: who should become the new Prime Minister. Wilders had already declared his renunciation. The parties therefore still have to agree on a head of government, he said.

Wilders party strongest force

In the election on November 22nd, Wilders and his radical right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) won 37 of the 150 seats in parliament. His future governing parties are the right-wing liberal VVD of the previous Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the new right-wing conservative NSC and the right-wing populist farmers’ party BBB. Together they would make up 88 MPs.

It will take an estimated six weeks for the government to actually come together. A rather loose alliance is planned with a ministerial team, around half of which consists of non-party experts. In order to clear the way for a right-wing government, Wilders put controversial demands such as a ban on mosques on hold and agreed to give up the office of head of government. The parliamentary group leaders of the other three parties also remain in parliament.

Former Prime Minister Rutte ends his political career

The previous Prime Minister Rutte was head of government for more than 13 years. In the summer of 2023, his center-right coalition collapsed in the dispute over asylum policy. Rutte then announced his departure from politics; he is now the most promising candidate for the office of NATO Secretary General.

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