Dutch politician and FPOe leader Geert Wilders (European)
The victory of the Freedom Party – led by far-right Geert Wilders with 37 seats in the Dutch parliamentary elections – was a political earthquake with repercussions that go beyond the borders of the Netherlands, and this time Wilders' party received more than double its share in the previous election, beating its opponents.
The Left bloc came behind him by a wide margin with 25 seats, while the center-right party won 24 seats, a disastrous result for the party of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Experts believe that the Dutch are looking for a change in the way of governance, after the withdrawal of the longest-serving prime minister in the country's history, Mark Rutte, where Rutte surprised everyone by announcing last July that he would withdraw from politics, after he headed the government for 13 years, and this came after the collapse of the four-party coalition led by him against the backdrop of a fierce debate over the policy of asylum seekers.
Wilders' election platform includes calls for a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the European Union, a complete halt to accepting asylum seekers and returning migrants at the Dutch border.
He also calls for "de-Islamization" in the Netherlands, but during the election campaign he sought to improve his image by adjusting some of his positions, asserting that there were more pressing problems than reducing the number of asylum seekers and softening some of his anti-Islamic positions.
In 2009, the British government refused to allow him to visit the country, saying he posed a threat to "societal harmony and therefore public security". He was convicted of insulting Moroccans at an election night rally in 2014.
In order to attract mainstream voters this time, Wilders has sought to focus less on what he calls "de-Islamization" in the Netherlands and more on addressing hot-button issues such as housing shortages, the cost-of-living crisis, and health care.
He is also a strong supporter of Israel, supporting the relocation of the Dutch embassy there to Jerusalem and the closure of the Dutch diplomatic mission in Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.
Wilders' opponents attacked his anti-Islam stances during his last pre-election debate on a local channel, but he responded – confirming – that he would be prime minister for "all Dutch".
Wilders has long been a staple in Dutch politics, entering parliament a quarter of a century ago, founding the Freedom Party in 2006, and although he has softened somewhat his anti-Muslim tone this time, he has maintained his familiar platform of being hostile to immigration, resisting what he sees as the "dilution" of Dutch national identity, and leaving the European Union.
There are factors that should not be overlooked while talking about the reasons for the rise of the extreme right, including: the flow of migration to the continent, with the succession and continuation of wars in the global south, and the Russian-Ukrainian war, which has its continuous effects on the economy of Europe.
In the Netherlands, the item of high house rents and shortages ranked first on the list of citizens' concerns, which was exploited by the far-right Freedom Party, where immigration, the cost of living, and the housing crisis - which especially affects the country's youth - were the most prominent headlines that were divided and priorities of election campaigns.
Wilders now has the daunting task of trying to form a successful coalition and win over opponents who categorically refused to join a Freedom Party-led government before the election. It remains unclear how he will combine the 76 seats needed to form a majority in the 150-seat parliament.
Wilders urged his political opponents to find common ground to govern the country after his victory in legislative elections, which reverberated at home and across Europe. The landslide victory was congratulated by far-right leaders in France and Hungary.
But it will likely raise concerns in Brussels, as Wilders is anti-establishment of the European Union, where the victory of the far-right Freedom Party in the Netherlands can be seen as an implicit indication of the general trend ahead of the European elections in June for the election of members of the European Parliament.
Wilders, described as the Dutch version of former US President Donald Trump, will have to form a coalition government before he can take office. But finding partners is not an easy process for the far-right party.
According to an article for Fox News, "Donald Trump of the Netherlands", the right-wing Geert Wilders won the election, and Wilders has long been compared to Donald Trump because of his populist policies, but unlike the former US president, he seemed destined to live his life in opposition, as they are, according to the American magazine "Politico", they have the same talent in exploiting the controversy surrounding them to dominate the media and attract attention in favor of the agenda of both.
Both say we put America and the Netherlands first, both are critical of immigration, development aid, climate plans, and both see no point in continuing to support Ukraine financially and militarily.
In terms of substance, most comparisons go no further than "the same extreme ideas on immigration," and one of Trump's most controversial plans — building a wall on the border with Mexico to stop immigration — is comparable to Wilders' intention to stop immigration.
After Wilders' victory, many American media outlets became interested in him, and the New York Times even sent its readers an instant notice after the results came out, headlined: "Far-Right Party Wins Dutch Election by Landslide."
Clearly, the US media mainly puts Dutch developments in a European perspective, and when it comes to Wilders' election victory, they mainly state that he is critical of support for Ukraine, and they are also indicated in Brussels to be unhappy with Trump.
Trump has yet to say nothing about the victory of the "Dutch Trump" in the election, who has a good chance of becoming the Republican Party's presidential candidate in America again next year, and it is not excluded that he will say anything in the coming days.
That said, Wilders' victory will be seen as a good omen by Republicans in the United States, and they hope that populists will do well in the election and that Trump will be able to win again.