Home News What you need to know about the Netherlands’ new far-right government

What you need to know about the Netherlands’ new far-right government

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The Netherlands swore in its first far-right government on Tuesday, more than seven months after An election that shocked the Dutch political system.

The new government promises to govern the Netherlands differently after nearly 14 years in power under Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The coalition was formed after months of negotiations following the victory of the party led by right-wing leader Geert Wilders in the November election.

“This is an experiment for the Netherlands,” said Armen Hakhverdian, a political scientist at the University of Amsterdam.

The Netherlands, long seen as a bastion of liberalism, is one of several European countries to experience an electoral shift to the right. Last year, Italy The far-right leader was elected and Slovakia elects populist president has been linked to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; and in France this weekend, the far-right The first surge Legislative elections.

It remains to be seen how the governing style of the Netherlands, a country of nearly 18 million people with a political system based on a culture of consensus building and the art of compromise, will develop. This could also have broad implications for the country’s standing on the international stage.

Here’s what to know about the new government and its role in Europe:

Wilders is a populist leader known for his anti-Muslim stance, and his party won the most votes in the November election. The party has long been seen as an enemy by most other parties, partly because of his anti-Islam rhetoric. Wilders said in March, He will give up the prime ministership To increase the chances of forming a right-wing coalition.

The four parties involved in the negotiations will form a new government: Wilders’ Freedom Party; the center-right Liberal Democratic Party, which has been in power for nearly 14 years; and the Civic Movement, led by the farmers’ party. Populist Farmers’ Party; The New Social Contract New centrist party.

Together they hold 88 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives — a clear majority.

The parties appointed Dick Schoof, a nonpartisan former intelligence chief. Prime Minister.

Wilders will retain his party’s leadership in the lower house. Although he will not be prime minister, he will still have a significant influence on the new cabinet. His Freedom Party also provides most of the ministers and secretaries in the new cabinet, including the crucial asylum and immigration ministerial post.

Simon Oetjes, assistant professor of Dutch political science at Leiden University, said keeping his parliamentary seat allowed him to express his ideas more freely because he was not responsible for maintaining cabinet unity.

After winning the election, Wilders appeared to moderate some of his most extreme views, including seeking a ban on mosques and Islamic schools and the Netherlands’ exit from the European Union. But some of his most hardline allies were appointed to key ministerial posts – including a Believes in the white nationalist “Great Replacement Theory” — suggesting Wilders may rely on them to push through some of his most controversial positions.

The Netherlands has long wielded outsize influence in the European Union. Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte is seen as the unofficial leader of the EU’s “frugal” nations – a group of northern countries that favor limiting EU spending – and is known for his negotiating skills and connections.

That could change with the arrival of Schuhf, a non-partisan prime minister with no political experience who may struggle to exert the kind of influence in Brussels that the Netherlands is accustomed to under Rutte, political experts say.

Political scientist Hakvildian said international affairs played only a small role in the campaign, with immigration being the dominant theme.

“This cabinet has no international ambitions,” he said.

Mr. Rutte Will become NATO Secretary Generalusing his farewell speech as prime minister Urges continued support for Ukraine Russia’s war with Ukraine. Critics accused Wilders of being pro-Russian, and pro-Kremlin media welcomed his victory. Although Wilders had publicly opposed supplying weapons to Ukraine in the past, in February this year, Wilders Express willingness Consider providing more military aid to the country.

Under a nonpartisan prime minister and a thinly detailed coalition agreement, the four ruling parties said they would work together in a slightly different way than previous Dutch governments, working to distance the cabinet from the lower house. Part of that includes a pledge to form a cabinet with a large number of political outsiders.

But most of the 29 ministerial posts are held by prominent members of the four parties, and the cabinet bears a distinct right-wing stamp – suggesting that the cabinet may not be as far removed from the House as first thought.

Ministers and secretaries will start work immediately, but deep divisions remain among the four parties and mutual trust appears limited after long and difficult coalition negotiations. This could make it challenging to pass their campaign promises in the House of Representatives.

In addition, Hakvildian said some of Wilders’ promises during the election might be unrealistic or unconstitutional. Hakvildian said trust in the rule of law and democratic values ​​could come under pressure if the government fails to deliver on its promises on issues such as immigration or nitrogen emissions.

“The omens are not good,” Mr. Hakeveldian said. “I wouldn’t bet on this cabinet lasting four years.”

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