'Freedom party ... under a taboo'
Political Scientist André Krouwel, a lecturer at the Free University in Amsterdam, says the Freedom Party PVV has failed to attract top political talent because the party is under a taboo. Earlier, the PVV announced it would take part in the provincial elections in all 12 provinces, which meant the party needed to find a large group of candidates in a short period of time. The provincial elections are important because the members of the Dutch senate are elected by the provincial councils.
However, In the past few months, quite a few PVV candidates have withdrawn their candidacy, either forced or voluntarily. Mr Krouwel says a party like the PVV attracts mostly people from middle management: "The party is not part of the establishment and has a reputation for being rather extremist. Among its candidates are quite a few loud-mouthed adventurers, who are annoyed about something and want to make sure parliament takes notice."
Mr Krouwel says this type of candidate undermine the party's credibility, and any loss of credibility could cost the PVV seats in the election. “I believe the party can count on a group of die-hard supporters which should be good for ten seats in the senate, but any less would mean trouble." Mr Krouwel believes that the cabinet and its partner the PVV are facing an uphill struggle to even win a slim majority in the Senate. "Or they won't make it, in which case the cabinet is history."
In a reaction, PVV leader Geert Wilders said Mr Krouwel's statements were "Just the kind of nonsense we have grown used to hearing from him as a member of the Labour Party. It's just a little cowardly, the way he keeps hiding his political affiliation."
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