The establishment of a new government promises to be complicated in the Netherlands, after the victory of far-right leader Geert Wilders on November 22. The process has just had a false start with the forced resignation of the negotiator chosen by Geert Wilders, a member like him of the Party for Freedom (PVV). The procedure for forming a coalition provides that the leader of the party that comes first appoints an “informant”, responsible for meeting the leaders of the different parties. He ensures their willingness to cooperate. Then he passes the baton to the “trainer”, the future head of government, who negotiates the coalition agreement.
This procedure has therefore already encountered a first obstacle, Monday November 27. Senator Gom van Strien, chosen as an informant by Geert Wilders, had to give up after the publication in the Dutch press of an article revealing that a complaint was filed several months ago against him by his former employer, the university from Utrecht. He is accused of fraud and embezzlement. After this setback, Geert Wilders, who is still aiming for the post of prime minister, must appoint a new informant.
His party won 37 seats out of the 150 in the chamber. It hopes to achieve a majority of 76 seats by allying itself with the New Social Contract (NSC, 20 seats, center right), the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB, 7 seats, representing the interests of agro-industry) and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD, 24 seats, liberal). Such a coalition would not be good news for the Netherlands’ European partners, who fear the unpredictable character of Geert Wilders, as well as his sovereignist and Islamophobic line. VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz said she did not want to sit in a government led by the far-right leader. However, this choice already seems to be called into question within his own party. A coalition blocking the way for the far right would require a meeting of right-wing parties, as well as the alliance of the left and environmentalists, led by former European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, which won 24 seats. But this scenario, for the moment, is not envisaged. The new political situation in the Netherlands in any case suggests long negotiations. At the end of the last legislative elections, in 2021, it took more than eight months to form a government.