A parliamentarian for Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV has resigned from the party following Wilders’ recent comments about Moroccans.
‘This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It is that simple,’ said Roland van Vliet, who has been an MP since the 2010 general election.
During the PVV celebrations in The Hague on Wednesday night, 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 Vliet, who was not at the meeting, said he had been forced to ask himself if this is what he wanted or would he make his own choices.
‘Now it is about an entire population group and no longer about Islam or over-representation in crime statistics or on benefits,’ he said. ‘I come across many Moroccans in Venlo and The Hague and there is nothing weird about them. They say hello to me and I say hello back.’
Van Vliet, who like Wilders comes from Limburg, said yesterday’s Moroccan chanting ‘was an idea off the top of Wilders’ head.’
Leaving the party was a very difficult decision he said. ‘I gave up my career for the PVV.’ Van Vliet said he will continue as an independent MP because he is chairman of the parliamentary commission on housing cooperations and wants to complete the job.
He told reporters he did not know if other PVV parliamentarians were planning to leave. There have been rumours in the Dutch press that two other parliamentarians – Lilian Helder and Joram van Klaveren – were planning to break away.
In July 2012, Marcial Hernandez and Wim Kortenoeven left the PVV, blaming the dominant role in the movement played by Wilders. Hero Brinkman left to set up his own party earlier that year for the same reason. Four other MPs have been pushed out.
Meanwhile, the Dutch Jewish groups’ association has issued a statement condemning Wilders’ anti-Moroccan stand.
The Central Joods Overleg ‘abhorred’ the way Wilders set aside a population group on the basis of its origins, said director Jaap Fransman.
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