Wilders registers party for election
31 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has registered his new party with the electoral commission in The Hague.
31 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Independent right-wing MP Geert Wilders has registered his new party with the electoral commission in The Hague.
"If the Cabinet falls, we will be ready for an election," Wilders told news agency ANP on Thursday.
The rank and file of D66 — the junior member of the three-party coalition — are to vote on Saturday whether to approve a new accord drawn up with government partners the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD.
If D66 rejects the agreement, the government will collapse and a new election will be called. Commentators consider it unlikely that the accord will be rejected, as D66 has little to gain from an election.
Wilders, on the other hand, is looking to establish a new party. He quit the VVD last year after refusing to mute his opposition to Turkey joining the EU. Opinion polls suggest that his new party, Groep Wilders, could end up with several MPs, including himself, after an election.
The MP is a staunch critic of Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands. He went into hiding last year after his life was threatened.
He accused the security service AIVD of actively discouraging people from joining his group, but this issue appeared to have been laid to rest after a meeting with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
Wilders has not yet produced a list of candidates who might contest the election with him on the Groep Wilders ticket. He said that he will come up with names when an election is called — if not now, then in two years time when elections are due in 2007.
Dutch electoral regulations stipulate that parties must submit a list of candidates 43 days before an election is held. If the cabinet falls, an election must be held within 100 days.
He claims several hundred people have expressed an interest in joining his group. He advertised for interested parties in national newspapers last week.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news