A second MP has left Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV party over the way Wilders encouraged supporters to chant that they wanted fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.
Joram van Klaveren, who has been an MP since the 2010 election, said the party has less about reducing the impact of Islam and more about Moroccans. The election night chants were the final Straw, Van Klaveren said in a statement.
During the PVV 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.
Van Klaveren also said he had become involved in politics to ‘achieve something’ but that the PVV has become increasingly confrontational. In addition, he criticised the party’s shift to the left on socio-economic issues.
Wilders on Friday accused the media of organising a witch hunt against him and said his position remains unchanged.
Nevertheless, his comments have been denounced by the cabinet, and prime minister Mark Rutte made his strongest condemnation of Wilders yet, saying the VVD would not work with him until he retracted the statement.
There have been several recent articles in the Dutch media examining the inner workings of the PVV and the way Wilders exerts control.
The PVV won 15 seats in the 2012 general election but now has 12 MPs. On Thursday, Roland van Vliet, who also became an MP in 2010, resigned quoting the anti-Moroccan chanting as the main reason. Louis Bontes was expelled last year after going public with his criticism of the party.
In addition, a new PVV councillor in The Hague has quit the party before being sworn in. Wilders comments did nothing to benefit the Netherlands or The Hague, Chris van der Helm was quoted as saying by local broadcaster Omroep West.
The PVV won seven seats on the city council in Wednesday’s vote but narrowly failed to become the biggest party.
Local VVD party leaders in both The Hague and Almere – the only two cities where the PVV fielded candidates on Wednesday – have both urged PVV councillors to distance themselves from Wilders.
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