Dutch Election Results: Impact on Coalition Building and Geert Wilders

The outcome of the recent Dutch election, which saw anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders’ party, the PVV, win the most seats, has raised questions about the formation of the next Dutch cabinet. The center-right VVD party, the largest party in the previous government, has ruled out participating in the new cabinet, dealing a blow to Wilders’ hopes of forming a majority government.

The VVD leader, Dilan Yesilgöz, stated that her party needed a different role after losing 10 seats in the election. This decision has put pressure on other center and center-right parties to consider working with Wilders to form a government. However, without the VVD’s support, Wilders will struggle to muster the 76 seats needed for a majority.

The coalition-building process in the Netherlands typically takes several months, and the first step began with the appointment of a scout from Wilders’ party, the Freedom party. The scout, Gom van Strien, will hold initial talks with all the relevant parties to gauge their interest in participating in the government.

While the VVD has ruled out joining the new administration, Yesilgöz emphasized that her party would be prepared to play a constructive role as a tacit partner in supporting a minority government in parliament. With the VVD’s 24 seats, they could provide Wilders with a working majority.

Wilders expressed his disappointment with the VVD’s decision, accusing them of not participating in negotiations and making the cabinet formation more difficult. Commentators pointed out that Wilders himself had supported the VVD-led government in the past but triggered its collapse when he refused to back austerity measures.

In order to form a majority government, Wilders will need to forge alliances with other parties. The newly formed centrist New Social Contract and the center-right Farmer Citizens Movement are the potential partners, but their support alone may not be enough. The pressure is also on whistleblower MP Pieter Omtzigt, leader of New Social Contract, to join a coalition as the only other top-four party still available.

The decision of the VVD not to participate in the cabinet has also sparked criticism from other parties. The BBB Farmer Citizens Movement leader, Caroline van der Plas, blamed the center-right liberals for the previous government’s collapse and accused them of prioritizing party politics over the interests of citizens.

The formation of a cabinet could now take months, and the uncertainty created by the election results has led to speculation about the direction of Dutch politics. The rise of the PVV and Wilders’ anti-Islam stance has sent tremors around Europe, with many countries closely watching the developments in the Netherlands.

Overall, the decision of the VVD not to join the next cabinet has significantly impacted Wilders’ chances of forming a majority government. It remains to be seen how the coalition-building process unfolds and whether Wilders can rally enough support from other parties to achieve his goals.