Dutch anti-Islam party to have strong voice in next govt
Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders will have to be consulted on every decision the next government makes if a provisional agreement on forming a new cabinet reached Friday is finalised, an expert said.
Under the provisional agreement, Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) will have no cabinet members but would have a crucial "support" role, the centre-right VVD, the Christian Democratic Action (CDA) and the free-market PVV said in a joint statement.
An analyst told AFP the agreement would in fact mean Wilders having a strong voice in government decisions as he would have to be consulted on each issue.
Talks on forming a new cabinet ended late Friday with further discussions scheduled to firm up the accord from next week.
Although he will not be in the cabinet, Wilders is in a strong bargaining position after the PVV made the biggest gains in June 9 elections -- coming third by raising its number of seats from nine to 24 out of 150 in the Dutch parliament.
The VVD won with 31 seats, while fellow rightists CDA came in fourth with 21 seats -- half its previous total.
Negotiations to form a coalition involving the VVD and the second biggest party, the labour PvdA with 30 seats, failed over disagreements on economic policy.
Maverick Wilders has earned notoriety around the world with his campaign to "stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands."
He calls Islam a fascist religion, campaigns for the banning of the Koran and the burqa, and likens the Koran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf." He is known abroad for his 17-minute commentary, "Fitna", which was termed "offensively anti-Islamic" by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
He was barred from entering Britain last year to stop him spreading "hatred and violent messages."
© 2010 AFP