Geert Wilders says he does not have the support of potential coalition partners to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands

The Hague, Netherlands (AFP) – Geert WildersThe Dutch prime minister, whose anti-Islam and anti-immigration rhetoric led him to a stunning victory in November's elections, said Wednesday that he does not have the support of his potential coalition partners to become the next Dutch prime minister.

Wilders took to X, formerly Twitter, to say: “I can only become prime minister if all parties in the coalition support it. “It wasn't like that.”

His comment came after media reported, citing unnamed sources, that the breakthrough announced in the coalition talks on Tuesday night was that the leaders of the four parties involved in the protracted coalition negotiations would remain in Parliament.

This increases the possibility of the formation of a technical cabinet of experts. While it now appears that Wilders will not lead the government, he and his Party for Freedom will remain the driving force behind the next administration.

Wilders did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. Other leaders participating in the talks did not immediately comment.

But Wilders later added another comment to X to say that one day, he still wants to become prime minister. “Don't forget: I will still become Prime Minister of the Netherlands,” he said. “With the support of more Dutch people. If not tomorrow, then the day after. Because the voice of millions of Dutch people will be heard!”

After the November 22 elections, Wilders' party now holds 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house of the Dutch parliament. The four parties participating in the government talks hold 88 seats, giving them a comfortable majority. Opinion polls since the election show that support for Wilders' party continues to grow.

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After two decades of intense opposition, Wilders seemed to have the chance to lead a nation that had long prided itself on its tolerant society, but he stepped aside in order to advance most of his agenda.

“I really wanted a right-wing government. Less asylum and immigration. “Dutch people No. 1. The love for my country and my voters is bigger and more important than my position,” Wilders said on the X programme.

rise of Far-right populism In a polarized political landscape that has been underway for years in Europe, however Wilders wins the election It remains a shock to the Netherlands and beyond.

Wilders has often called for a ban on mosques, Islamic schools and the Qur'an, but in a concession to his potential coalition partners in January, Wilders called for a ban on mosques, Islamic schools and the Qur'an. Withdraw the bill To implement the ban.

The Netherlands is not the only one witnessing a shift to the right.

Far-right parties are also expected to make significant gains in the June elections for the European Union Parliament Portugal The inconclusive result in Sunday's election has thrust the populist Chiga – or Enough – party into the role of potential kingmaker. Chega's leader, Andre Ventura, has made common cause with other right-wing parties across the continent.

Wilders spent Monday and Tuesday in talks with leaders of the centre-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, the populist Citizen Farmers' Movement and the centrist New Social Contract.

With new Social Contract leader Peter Umtzigt ruling out joining a majority government led by Wilders, the four parties are now likely to consider other options – a government made up of experts and politicians or a minority government backed by support from Umtzigt's party.

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It is possible that the Netherlands will turn to Italy in search of a model for how to overcome the political impasse it is experiencing. Italy It has a history of resorting to “technical” governments headed by figures outside the mainstream of the political party. These experts are called upon to guide the country through a certain period, often due to economic instability or political deadlock, before new elections are held.

The most recent of these governments was headed by Mario Draghi, the internationally respected former European Central Bank president, who was called upon to shepherd Italy through the second half of the Covid-19 pandemic and revitalize economic growth.

Despite his widespread support, Draghi's coalition collapsed in July 2022 and new elections were called, which were subsequently won by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of the far-right Brotherhood of Italy party and her right-wing allies.

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Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed.

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