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Wilders urges deadlocked Dutch parties to explore unusual forms of government

In World
February 14, 2024

AMSTERDAM – Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders said on Wednesday parties needed to explore unconventional forms of government to cobble together a viable governing coalition, as a traditional majority government looked unachievable.

Talks on a new government went back to square one earlier this week, almost three months after an election won by Wilders’ nationalist PVV party but short of a majority, after prospective partner NSC backed out of joining any coalition led by Wilders.

The NSC’s decision effectively scuttled the formation of any rightwing government that would have a majority in parliament.

The Netherlands traditionally is governed by majority coalitions that nail down their agreements in detailed government pacts.

But the country may have now have to resort to an unconventional form of government to avert new elections, as too many parties have said they won’t work with Wilders, despite his promises to drop his most contentious plans – such as shutting down mosques and banning the Koran from the Netherlands.

“All options are on the table as far as I’m concerned,” Wilders said in a parliamentary debate, adding he still aimed to lead a new coalition as prime minister. “We are not opting for new elections, we want to shoulder our responsibilities.”

Wilders called for a new intermediary to consult all parliamentary party leaders in the coming three to four weeks to hear their preferences, after which a select group could try to assemble a workable coalition.

Options on the table would include a minority government, or a more technocratic one in which ministers would not be bound by strict agreements between parties and would seek shifting majorities for their policies.

Parties were set to vote on Wilders’ proposal later on Wednesday. REUTERS

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