Two weeks before elections, the far-right Party of Freedom headed by Geert Wilders is growing in popularity. Wilders, who strongly supports anti-immigration laws, is expected to double in seats in the Dutch parliament.
Geert Wilders Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Two weeks prior to elections in the Netherlands on March 15th, support for Geert Wilders has risen to around 15% according to local polls. Wilders is considered by many Dutch as the Donald Trump of their election, his far-right Party for Freedom supporting anti-immigration laws against Muslims, reinstating the Dutch currency, and withdrawing from the European Union. His main rival remains Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the conservative VVD Party, who currently heads the majority coalition in the 150-member parliament.
The Netherlands is preparing for a dramatic change with a strong movement to the right in this current election. Polls currently reveal that the leftist parties have already lost a significant percentage of the votes, as the majority of the population supports center or right-leaning parties. Wilders is expected to double in expected voter support, currently holding 15 seats in the parliament.
Long before Trump’s introduction of blunt discourse in American politics, Wilders capitalized on this style during political discussions in the Dutch parliament. Both leaders are known for using controversial political stances to gain power. Last weekend in a rally Wilders said, “Islam is not a religion, it’s a totalitarian ideology,” and compared the Muslim Quran to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” As a result of these statements, Wilders remains a target for many Muslim organizations.