Following the electoral victory of right-wing populist Geert Wilders, government formation in the Netherlands is now set to begin a second attempt. The former Parliament Speaker assigned former Minister Ronald Plasterk in The Hague yesterday to discuss opportunities to form a coalition.
The first attempt failed because the first explorer, a member of Wilders’ far-right party, resigned over allegations of fraud.
The new explorer, Plasterk, is expected to hold talks with all the group’s leaders and submit his report on December 5. Only then can substantive discussions between potential new coalition parties begin.
At least two parties to obtain a majority
Wilders’ anti-Islam party won 37 seats out of 150 in parliament last week. Traditionally, it is now his turn to form a coalition. To obtain a majority, it needs at least two parties.
The only realistic partners are the right-wing liberal VVD party of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and the new centrist party New Social Contract. The VVD refuses to participate in government, but will tolerate a right-wing minority government.
Wilders recently confirmed that he wants to postpone his highly controversial demands, such as banning the Qur’an and closing mosques.
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