who has called Muslim culture inferior to the West and denies the existence of a moderate Islam, comes in a strong third in last week’s parliamentary elections in Holland.
The right wing surges in Holland: From the near final results of the general elections that took place last Wednesday, it stands that the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (WD) has for the first time become the largest party in Parliament, though it only leads Labor by 1.2%. The most surprising result is that of the Freedom Party, under the leadership of Geert Wilders, who has campaigned under a promise to end Muslim immigration, which took third place.
After 98% of the votes had been counted, it emerged that the WD, lead by Mark Rutte, won 20.4% of the vote, which translates to 31 out of 150 seats in the Parliament. Right behind stands the Labor Party under the former Jewish mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen, which got 19.6%, also 31 seats.
“It seems that for the first time in history, the Liberals have become the largest party in Holland,” said Rutte, a 43 year old former director of human resources, who throughout the election campaign called for deep budget cuts.
However, the unexpected result of the night was the Freedom Party, which won 10 more seats and reached 21 mandates. “More security, less crime, less immigration, less Islam—this is what Holland chose,” said Geert Wilders, who has brewed up a storm after claiming that the Koran spawns terror.
The sad story of the elections was the Christian-Democratic party, the party of outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, which has led Holland for four consecutive terms. The Christian-Democrats crashed, winning only 21 seats, compared with 41 seats in the outgoing Parliament, on the heels of which Belkenende announced his resignation.
The results give Rutte the mandate to build a new government, though he requires three other parties in order to garner a coalition majority of 76 seats. Before the elections, Rutte declared that he intends to present a new government by July 1st.
Commentators have estimated that the recent British elections scenario is about to repeat itself: a coalition of extremes, composed of both left wing and right wing parties, what Hollanders call a “Purple Coalition” (meaning, a mixture of red—left, and blue—right.)
In light of this, the estimations are that even though Geert Wilders seems to be the deciding factor, he will not be a member of the new government. Labor leader Cohen has already dismissed the possibility of cooperating with Wilders. “I don’t think we will work together with him. This was always my position,” he said.