Laborious-right firebrand Geert Wilders wins election in Netherlands: ‘Dutch Donald Trump’
Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders has received an enormous victory in an election, positioning him to kind the subsequent ruling occasion and probably grow to be Netherland’s subsequent prime minister.
Wilders, 60, has lengthy been likened to the “Dutch Donald Trump,” for his model of populist politics. However in contrast to the previous U.S., he appeared destined to a lifetime within the opposition.
An exit ballot revealing his landslide appeared to take Wilders abruptly.
In his first response, posted in a video on X, previously Twitter, he unfold his arms large, put his face in his arms and mentioned merely “35!” — the variety of seats an exit ballot forecast his Occasion for Freedom, or PVV, received within the 150-seat decrease home of parliament.
The one time Wilders got here near governing was when he supported the primary coalition shaped by Prime Minister Mark Rutte in 2010. However Wilders didn’t formally be a part of the minority administration and introduced it down after simply 18 months in workplace in a dispute over austerity measures. Since then, mainstream events have shunned him.
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“The PVV desires to, from a incredible place with 35 seats that may completely now not be ignored by any occasion, cooperate with different events,” he informed cheering supporters at his election celebration in a small bar in a suburb of The Hague.
Wilders’ incendiary rhetoric towards Islam has made him a goal for extremists and led to him dwelling underneath round the clock safety for years. He has appeared in court docket as a sufferer of dying threats, vowing by no means to be silenced. He has moved from one secure home to a different over practically 20 years.
In 2009, the British authorities refused to let him go to the nation, saying he posed a menace to “neighborhood concord and due to this fact public safety.”
To court docket mainstream voters this time round, Wilders toned down his rhetoric and sought to focus much less on what he calls the “de-Islamization” of the Netherlands and extra on tackling sensible points akin to housing shortages, a cost-of-living disaster and entry to good well being care.
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His marketing campaign platform nonetheless requires a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, an “asylum cease” and “no Islamic faculties, Qurans and mosques,” though he pledged Wednesday evening to not breach Dutch legal guidelines or the nation’s structure that enshrines freedom of faith and expression.
The Related Press contributed to this report.