Voting takes place in Holland's closely-watched parliamentary election

Voting takes place in Holland's closely-watched parliamentary election
Voting takes place in Holland's closely-watched parliamentary election
Author

16 March, 2017

With as many as 28 parties fielding candidates, it is highly unlikely any party will reach the 76 seats needed for a majority, meaning four or five will need to come together to form a coalition. If the results pan out that way, there will be nearly no chance for Wilders to become the country's Prime Minister.

The title of Wilders" 1-page election manifesto (only in Dutch) translates into English as "Make the Netherlands ours again'. "We give people a chance to fully indicate the parties they consider, and their doubts, and that they are not yet certain", says Boukje Cuelenaere, head of CentERdata's survey research department.

The Netherland's Party for Freedom is riding a wave of anti-Islamic sentiment.

Wilders was referring to crowds gathered outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam late Saturday and early Sunday who became disruptive after a Turkish minister was prevented from addressing a political rally and escorted out of the country.

Perhaps more worrisome still, some see the Dutch vote as a kind of referendum on the viability of the viciously anti-Muslim, anti-migrant politics represented by Wilders throughout Europe.

Second on the list was the 8 p.m. news by national broadcaster NOS, which preceded the debate, with 2.5 million viewers.

Weeks or months of coalition talks are expected to follow.

After the Dutch vote, we can look forward to the French presidential election (rounds one and two), German regional elections and French parliamentary elections, before finishing up with the German Federal elections in September.

More news: South Korea Impeachment Protest Death Toll Rises to 3

Nearly 13 million people can vote in landmark elections poised to boil down to a race between Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberals (VVD) and the far-right party Freedom Party (PVV) of MP Geert Wilders.

"Students choose hope over fear", Klaver tweeted.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte today urged The Netherlands to be the first country to stop what he called "the wrong sort of populism" which is on the rise in Europe.

The large amount of parties and the Netherland's system of proportional representation indicates some form of coalition government will likely occur, possibly with Rutte's Party for Freedom and Democracy and three other parties. "But Wilders plays a major role in the tone and content of the campaign and Wilders - even if he doesn't win a single seat - has already won because the two biggest right-wing parties have taken over his policies".

"Not in a cabinet, and not even relying on you for support outside the government".

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders of the PVV party votes in the general election in The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017.

The Netherlands' centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte roundly saw off a challenge by the anti-Islam, anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday, exit polls said, a huge relief to other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism.

Rutte is urging voters to back him so that he continue his political course and focus on preserving the Dutch economic recovery and its place in the European Union.


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