Tuesday 19 October 2021

Political opponents, academics say PVV influence will be great

A minority VVD CDA cabinet supported by the PVV will give the anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders a lot of influence on government policy, academics and politicians say in Saturday’s NRC.

The three party leaders are expected to start talks next week on drawing up right-wing policy which the PVV will support from outside government.
Wilders has already said he will continue to speak his mind about Islam and expects tough policy on integration, immigration and public safety in return for his backing.
Wim Voermans, professor of constitutional law at the University of Leiden said the PVV has everything to gain with a minority cabinet. ‘Wilders wins a lot of time. He lets it be seen that he wants to take responsibility for government,’ Voermans told the NRC. ‘But he can always walk away and say ‘they really don’t want me. I have done everything I could.’
And politicial scientist Marcel Boogers said the VVD and CDA will be very dependent on the PVV which will have a disproportionate influence on the cabinet. ‘Wilders does not have to supply any ministers and get his hands dirty but he can hold hostage and blackmail the VVD and CDA,’ Boogers said.
A minority VVD and CDA cabinet which looks for support from different parties depending on the policy would be a preferable option, he said.


MPs are concerned as well. ‘Wilders will not be in the cabinet, but he will be the real prime minister,’ said Labour MP Sharon Dijksma.
‘Wilders has got Verhagen and Rutte on a lead. He doesn’t carry the risk of the talks collapsing but has all the power,’ said Boris van Ham of the D66 Liberal party.
André Rouvoet, deputy prime minister in the outgoing government and leader of the orthodox ChristenUnie, was blunt. ‘If Wilders’ preference really is for a minority government, that would seem to me to be every reason not to do it,’ he told the paper.

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