Monday

23rd Oct 2017

Dutch PM: coalition with Wilders 'not going to happen'

  • Mark Rutte said a coalition with Wilders has a probability of "zero" (Photo: Minister-president Rutte)

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has ruled out participating in a government with far-right leader Geert Wilders, making it less likely that Wilders becomes prime minister after elections on 15 March.

“That is not going to happen,” Rutte told the weekly political TV programme Buitenhof on Sunday (15 January)

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Wilders wants to take the Netherlands out of the EU, but will need coalition partners (Photo: Flickr/Roel Wijnants)

He said the chance that his Liberal VVD party would enter a coalition with Wilders's anti-EU PVV party was “zero”.

It was his strongest statement ruling out a coalition with Wilders to date.

Wilders is unlikely to become prime minister unless his party gets an absolute majority. They are projected to get between 33 to 36 seats, far short of the 76 seats needed.

Since the introduction of proportional representation in the Netherlands in 1918, no single party has ever acquired an absolute majority.

That has become even less likely in the past two decades, which have seen an increased fragmentation in the Dutch political spectrum.

The 2012 Lower House elections gave seats to 11 parties, but after breakaways there are currently 17 different groups – many of them now are vying to be elected on their own merits.

There have also been a number of new political parties that emerged after the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine treaty

A total of 82 parties have registered with the electoral council, although in practice usually only half of the registered parties follow through.

The Electoral Council was recently asked to design a new ballot paper to fit more than 32 parties.

Current opinion polls suggest any prospective coalition might need four or five parties to make up a majority.

Most other major political leaders have excluded working with Wilders, because his views are so far from their own. Only the populist 50Plus party for the elderly has left the door open.

On Tuesday (17 January), its leader Henk Krol wrote in an opinion piece explaining why his party would not rule out Wilders before the elections.

Excluding Wilders "will only motivate" his voters and lead to more votes. "50Plus does not want to help [Wilders party] gain more votes," Krol wrote in de Volkskrant newspaper.

It is possible that Rutte could stand down as party leader after the election, opening the door to a coalition involving his party and the PVV.

This is what Wilders would want.

The far-right MP said on Sunday that Rutte's statement excluding his party was “an offence to millions of voters and smells of dictatorship”.

However, Wilders himself made a similar statement one year ago, when he said his party would only cooperate with the Liberals if Rutte stepped down as party leader.

The two politicians previously worked together in 2010, when Wilders' party supported Rutte's centre-right minority government. However, that relationship soured after Wilders pulled the plug on that informal coalition when he did not want to support the proposed budget.

Focus

Dutch eurosceptics defiant after EU vote

Appointing Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz to top EU posts means the eurosceptic vote is being ignored, says Dutch anti-EU deputy.

Far-right groups pledge allegiance ahead of elections

Far-right leaders Le Pen, Wilders, Petry and others gathered in Koblenz in the hope of gaining political momentum ahead of national elections this year. The event was met with thousands of protestors.

Dutch anti-Trump protesters turn on Wilders

Some 2,000 people protested in The Hague against the US travel ban for people from seven Muslim-majority countries, but also threw in some anti-Wilders slogans.

Focus

Health MEPs want to phase out glyphosate by 2020

A committee resolution said the proposal to renew the glyphosate permit for a decade "fails to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment".

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  4. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  6. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  8. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  10. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  11. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  12. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!

Latest News

  1. The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals
  2. Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda
  3. Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift
  4. Posted workers top EU agenda This Week
  5. Leaders lobby to host EU agencies at summit's margins
  6. Legal tweak could extend EU control on Russia pipeline
  7. Ukraine language law does not harm minorities
  8. EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks