The far-right Dutch politician will need the support of other parties to form a new coalition government after winning the most seats in parliament in the country’s latest elections.
The Netherlands will find out on Monday whether far-right politician Geert Wilders, whose party won the most seats in recent Dutch elections, will be able to form his own government.
The far-right provocateur’s victory in late November stunned Europe, as well as Wilders himself, who is a well-known figure in Dutch politics even if he remained on the fringes for years.
But electoral success does not necessarily guarantee Wilders enough support to form a government, especially since many other parties appear intent on joining a coalition with his far-right, anti-Muslim party, the Party for Freedom (PVV).
According to its manifesto, the PVV wants to ban mosques, the headscarf and the Koran in the Netherlands. Other controversial plans include cutting support for Ukraine and holding a referendum to leave the European Union.
While Wilders toned down the most incendiary parts of his manifesto after his victory, promising to be a leader for “all Dutch”, other politicians remain concerned about what his party would do once in government.
An official appointed by Wilders, former minister Ronald Plasterk, will present a report to parliament on Monday to determine who is willing to work with whom to form a new government.
The process of forming a new government in the Netherlands can normally take months of negotiations due to the highly fragmented nature of the Dutch political system.
Building a coalition around Wilders’ party could take even longer due to concerns about the nature of his party. The far-right leader needs a coalition of 76 MPs in a 150-seat parliament to govern. His party won 37 seats.
An ideal coalition for Wilders would be to bring together the agricultural party BBB – which won 7 seats in Parliament – the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) – which has 24 seats – and the new reformist party New Social Contract (NSC ) – which has 20 seats.
NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt appears unwilling to join a coalition with Wilders, saying he is concerned about “unconstitutional” elements in the PVV manifesto. VVD is the party of Mark Rutte, the outgoing prime minister who declared that he would leave politics after the elections. The party’s new leader, Dilan Yesilgoz, of Turkish origin, said she would only support “a centre-right coalition” and that she would not join the government led by Wilders.