Far-right Dutch politician withdraws anti-Islamic bill amid efforts to form coalition government

Europe
Tue, 9 Jan 2024 7:04 GMT
Geert Wilders seeks to attract possible coalition partners, says local media.
Far-right Dutch politician withdraws anti-Islamic bill amid efforts to form coalition government

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, seeking to woo partners for a coalition government after the Nov. 22 elections in the Netherlands, has withdrawn an anti-Islamic bill, local media reported on Monday. 

Wilders sent a letter to Martin Bosma, head of the lower house of the parliament, seeking to withdraw a 2018 bill that aims to ban Islamic expressions, including mosques, the holy Quran, and Islamic clothing for women such as the burqa, daily Volkskrant said.

The Dutch Council of State previously said the bill discriminated against part of the population, and was contrary to basic rights.

Wilders also asked to withdraw two other bills, one seeking to ban holding dual nationalities and another on administrative detention.

Wilders' move was interpreted by the daily as an effort to seem less extreme, thus helping to attract possible coalition partners.

The latest coalition talks were held on Dec. 21, and they are set to resume on Tuesday.

Over 10.4 million voters cast their votes on Nov. 22 to elect members of the Netherlands’ 150-seat parliament.

Geert Wilders' far-right Islamophobic PVV emerged as the top party with 37 seats, followed by GroenLinks-PvdA, a coalition led by former European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, with 25.​​​​​​​

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