PVV collapse continues: MPs, EU party leader and councillors quit
The anti-immigration PVV party continued to fall apart on Friday evening, as the party’s leader in the European parliament stepped out of politics.
Two MPs, one MEP and reportedly four provincial councillors and all but one of the nine newly elected Almere city councillors have quit since Geert Wilders led supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant on Wednesday evening.
Earlier on Friday, PVV parliamentarian Joram van Klaveren resigned, citing Wilders’ anti-Moroccan stance.
On Thursday, MP Roland van Vliet also stepped down.
During the PVV local election celebrations in The Hague, Wilder asked his supporters ‘and do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’
To which the crowd chanted ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’.
'We'll arrange that,' Wilders said when the chanting died down
Laurence Stassen, the PVV’s leader in Europe, has also left the party in the wake of the anti-Moroccan chanting.
‘I deeply regret having to take this step but continuing after this statement was not an option,’ Stassen said.
She has also stepped out of the PVV in Limburg.
Wilders is hoping to form an anti-European group with other populist parties in Europe after May’s elections.
Also on Friday evening, all but one of the nine newly elected PVV councillors in Almere ‘expressly distanced themselves’ from Wilders, according to Dutch media reports.
One city councillor in The Hague also quit earlier in the day.
In Flevoland province itself, four of the six provincial councillors were said to have quit the PVV and formed their own group.
The dissidents said in a statement they continue to support the PVV's policies but that Wilders’ latest standpoint ‘is not ours’,the Volkskrant reported.