14 March 2024, by Emily Proctor

PVV leader Geert Wilders has taken a step back from his aim to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands as part of ongoing coalition talks with the VVD, NSC and BBB parties. Wilders told De Telegraaf that he believes it is “constitutionally wrong that he has had to step aside” but will do so in order to keep Pieter Omtzigt’s NSC from walking away from the negotiating table. 

NSC blocks Wilders’ way to becoming Prime Minister

According to a series of statements from various party officials obtained by De Telegraaf, both the BBB and VVD do not oppose Wilders’ premiership, but the NSC are unhappy with having him as the leader of the Dutch government. Wilders has stated that he is unhappy with the development but he is willing to step back and continue negotiations.

De Telegraaf went on to report that Wilders stated that the BBB thought it would be fine if he became prime minister. There was also a party that “said: I’d rather not, but we won’t lie in the way of it,” he noted. He did not want to mention the name of the party, but sources told the newspaper that it was the VVD. Only Pieter Omtzigt’s NSC has indicated: “No way,” said Wilders.

Wilders’ PM dreams end just weeks after NSC quit coalition talks

The change in stance comes just weeks after Omtzigt’s NSC walked away from the negotiation table, citing strong differences in policy proposals between the parties. Wilders’ decision to step back comes as the parties are set to meet in The Hague with cabinet formation leader Kim Putters on March 14, a meeting that is sure to require support from all parties involved in the coalition process.

Wilders is clearly unhappy with the new situation, stating “I also think I should have become Prime Minister. I also said at the negotiating table that I think it should be me”. He continued to explain his disappointment on X, stating: “The love [I have] for my country and voter is great and more important than my own position.”

Thumb image credit: Robert Hoetink / Shutterstock.com

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