Far-right Dutch Party for Freedom poised to win general elections
The far-right, anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) was on track to achieve a significant victory in general elections in the Netherlands according to initial results Wednesday, with its leader declaring they can no longer be ignored.
Geert Wilders said that based on the results, they cannot be dismissed, contending that any alternative would be undemocratic and rejected by voters.
"We will govern the nation,” he said.
"I address other parties; the campaign is over, and the voters have spoken. Now we need to find similarities with each other. We need to work together. PVV has secured 35 seats that no party can ignore. We're fed up. We want the Dutch to be in first place again, and we will make it happen,” he said, addressing his supporters after exit polls and initial results placed his party in first position.
PVV is in first place, followed by the Labour Party and Green Left alliance led by former European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, with 25 seats.
In an attempt to soften his previous rhetoric, Wilders in a statement to public broadcaster NOS expressed his desire to be the prime minister for everyone, regardless of their ethnic origin or religion.
He also expressed hope that they could reach an agreement in coalition talks with other parties.
"I am hopeful. I understand that parties do not want a government that acts contrary to the Constitution. We won't do that. We won't talk about mosques, the Quran or Islamic schools. We will talk about giving priority back to the Dutch, the hope of the Dutch," he said.
The Freedom and Democracy Party led by Dilan Yesilgoz- Zegerius dropped to third place with 24 seats.
The New Social Contract Party led by Pieter Omtzigt, who was a member of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and later formed his own party, participated in the election for the first time and secured fourth place with 20 seats.
Omtzigt, previously said his party would not enter into a coalition with Wilders, but after the initial results, he refrained from making a clear statement on the matter.