© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Dutch far-right politician and leader of the PVV party, Geert Wilders gestures as he meets with members of his party at the Dutch Parliament, after the Dutch parliamentary elections, in The Hague, Netherlands November 23, 2023. REUTERS/Yves He
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Veteran Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders on Saturday vowed to be prime minister of the Netherlands eventually, following an election in which his party won the most seats.
In a long post on X, formerly Twitter, that expressed frustration at other parties for their apparent unwillingness to cooperate with his Freedom Party (PVV), Wilders said he would “continue to moderate” his positions if necessary to gain power.
“Today, tomorrow or the day after, the PVV will be part of government and I will be prime minister of this beautiful country,” Wilders wrote.
Although Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) finished well ahead of rivals in the Nov. 22 vote on an anti-immigration platform, his party is forecast to take only 25% of the seats in Dutch parliament.
That means he will have to cooperate with at least two more moderate parties in order to form a government.
On Friday, the conservative VVD Party of caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which shares many of Wilders’ views on immigration, said it would not participate in a cabinet with him.
However the VVD’s new leader, Dilan Yesilgoz, did not rule out offering a Wilders government outside support.
Pieter Omtzigt, who leads the centrist reform NSC Party and is also seen as a likely partner in a Wilders’ government, has said cooperation will be difficult due to extreme positions Wilders has voiced that appear to violate Dutch constitutional protections on freedom of religion.
Dutch coalition talks usually take months, and positions about parties’ willingness to work with each other can shift as time goes on.
If Wilders is unable to form a government, more centrist combinations that exclude the PVV are theoretically possible, while new elections would be a last resort.