Geert Wilders Aims for Right-Wing Government by June Amid Leadership Uncertainty

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders expects a new right-wing government operational by late June, despite lacking a prime minister candidate. Following a coalition deal with conservative parties, leadership uncertainties linger as Wilders seeks someone to spearhead potentially contentious policies with the EU and significant budget cuts.

Reuters | Amsterdam | Updated: 22-05-2024 17:39 IST | Created: 22-05-2024 17:39 IST
Geert Wilders Aims for Right-Wing Government by June Amid Leadership Uncertainty
  • Country:
  • Netherlands

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders said on Wednesday he expected a new right-wing government to be operational by the end of June, even though he has yet to find a suitable prime minister to lead it. Wilders' nationalist PVV party was the clear winner of elections in November, and last week after almost six months of tense negotiations it struck a coalition deal with three other conservative parties.

But it still unclear who will lead this government, as Wilders dropped his claim to the top job months ago in order to get his prospective partners to the table. The outspoken anti-Islam politician has not named a candidate yet after his prospective first pick, former labour minister Ronald Plasterk, said last weekend he was not available.

"I am confident we will find a solution," Wilders said in a debate on the coalition agreement, adding that he expected it would probably take another five weeks to form a cabinet. Wilders said any new prime minister would not be kept "on a leash" by political leaders in parliament but would be expected to stick to the plans laid out in the coalition agreement.

These include proposals that would put the Netherlands on a collision course with Brussels, as they would aim for exceptions on EU migration and environmental rules and a 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) cut in the country's contribution to the EU budget. The government's main policy adviser said on Tuesday that the chances of achieving such goals were small, but in the debate Wilders dismissed the possibility of defeat in Brussels.

"The prime minister will have the task to go to Europe and get this done," he said. "And I trust that will happen." ($1 = 0.9237 euros)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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