Status: 28.11.2023, 20:36 PM
By: Sonja Thomaser
Due to allegations of fraud, the first explorator had to resign. Now an experienced minister is being tasked with examining a chance for a coalition in the Netherlands.
The Hague – Following the election victory of right-wing populist Geert Wilders and his PVV, the formation of a government in the Netherlands is now set to begin at the second attempt. After talks with leaders of other parties, Wilders on Tuesday (28 November) instructed former education and interior minister Ronald Plasterk to act as a mediator in exploratory talks to form a governing coalition. He thought it was "a good idea to vote for someone from another party," Wilders said.
A first attempt had failed, as the first explorator, Gom van Strien, an MP from the radical right-wing Wilders party, resigned over allegations of fraud.
Prober must resign due to fraud allegations
Van Strien had resigned from his role in building a new governing coalition on Monday (27 November) over allegations of fraud, throwing the process of forming a new government into turmoil before it had even begun.
Van Strien announced his resignation after media outlets reported on allegations of fraud at his former company. The "unrest" surrounding the reports and the time needed to respond appropriately "do not fit with my job" as a mediator, van Strien explained. Therefore, he informed Wilders and the speaker of parliament of his resignation from the task. Van Strien was supposed to formally start talks on forming a coalition on Monday and meet with party leaders.
The new explorator, Plasterk, is to hold talks with all the group leaders and present his report on 5 December. Only then can the substantive talks between the possible new coalition parties begin.
Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right party PVV (Party for Freedom). © Peter Dejong/dpa
Wilders surprise winner in Dutch election
Wilders' PVV was the surprise winner of last Wednesday's (22 November) Dutch elections, showing an astonishing shift to the right in Dutch politics that sent shockwaves across Europe. For a long time, Wilders was an outsider who was largely shunned by the established parties. Now he is at the centre of efforts to form a new governing coalition.
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Traditionally, it is now his turn to form a coalition, and for a majority he needs at least two parties. Only the right-wing liberal VVD of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the new Centre Party New Social Contract are realistic partners.
Formation of government difficult after Dutch election
Forming a government in the Netherlands has traditionally been difficult because of the highly fragmented political system. Often, four or more parties are needed to form a government. The task, which was not easy in any case, was further complicated for Wilders after Dilan Yeşilgöz, the leader of the long-standing bourgeois-conservative ruling VVD party, said he did not want to join the government. However, they would tolerate a right-wing minority government.
Wilders again declared his willingness to negotiate: "The voters want me to do my best to get to the negotiating table, and then to be involved in the state government in whatever way." The right-wing populist had asserted that he wanted to put his fiercely controversial demands, such as a ban on the Koran and the closure of mosques, on hold. (SOT with dpa/AFP)