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Formation of government: Netherlands: Populist Wilders forges right-wing coalition

Formation of government: Netherlands: Populist Wilders forges right-wing coalition

After months of laborious negotiations, four right-wing parties agreed on how government should be governed in the future. It’s supposed to be just a loose alliance. And: election winner Wilders will not become head of government.

The Netherlands gets a right-wing government coalition. Almost six months after the parliamentary elections, the radical right-wing populist Geert Wilders and three other parties have agreed on a coalition agreement. “We have an agreement,” Wilders said on Wednesday in The Hague. But it is still unclear who should become the new Prime Minister – Wilders had already abdicated. The parties still have to agree on a head of government, said Wilders.

The content of the agreement is to be presented today. First, the parliamentary groups were informed. They had agreed to the agreement until shortly before midnight. At midnight, the leaders of the discussions had to hand over their report to Parliament.

These parties are in coalition with Wilders

The future government parties include Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV), 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.

A loose alliance is planned with a ministerial team, around half of which consists of non-party experts. Former Social Democratic minister Ronald Plasterk was discussed as a possible candidate for prime minister. But the faction leaders initially did not want to confirm this.

In the election on November 22nd, Wilders and his anti-Islam party won 37 of the 150 seats in parliament. But he needs at least two other parties for a majority.

In order to clear the way for a radical right-wing government, the 60-year-old 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.

The government could be in place in six weeks

After months of laborious talks, the party leaders also reached an agreement on Wednesday night about the biggest point of contention to date, finances. But on Wednesday the agreement was delayed by several hours. It will take an estimated six weeks for the government to actually come together.

The previous Prime Minister Rutte has been 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.

Source: Stern

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