Dutch leader fends off anti-Islam candidate Wilders

Dutch leader fends off anti-Islam candidate Wilders”

In a statement, French President Francois Hollande "warmly" congratulated Rutte, and said "The values of openness, respect for others and faith in the future of Europe are the only true responses to nationalist and protectionist tendencies which are shaking the world".

Dutch people have rejected right-wing populism by defeating Geert Wilders in the Netherlands' election result of which declared today.

Wilders, who has vowed to "de-Islamicise" the Netherlands, has virtually no chance of forming a government given that all the leading parties have ruled out working with him, but a PVV win would still send shockwaves across Europe. And that could destroy the European Union along with the global order that has existed for decades. All the centre parties in the Netherlands said they wouldn't enter into partnership with Wilders.

Le Pen - who has promised a referendum on European Union membership, vowed to exit the euro currency and clamp down on immigration - has captivated the nationalist movement with the party her father founded 44 years ago.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has taken a tough line on the attendance of Turkish ministers at these rallies, as Ankara attempts to win the support of Dutch-Turkish citizens. According to preliminary results, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte is winning the elections and can count on 33 out of 150 seats in the country's main legislative body. Wilders' anti-Islam Party for Freedom, or PVV, was tied for second, with 19 seats. There has been a shift in the agenda, from anti-immigrant to anti-Islam propaganda, to more talk of social welfare.

The perils of coalition building were on clear display Thursday. Led by 30-year-old Jesse Klaver, it is now the largest party of the Dutch left, having boosted its MPs from four to 14.

Now we are the 2nd largest party. "We won seats", Wilders said in a tweet posted after the exit polls were announced. A recent diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands helped Rutte by allowing him to take a strong stance against a majority Muslim nation and appease some on the right. Wilders can be better compared with Marine Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was the founder of Front National and was the leader of the party until ousted by his daughter Marine Le Pen.

"But, on the other hand, I think it should be seen from the perspective of the Dutch electoral system, which is one in which there is very proportional representation, and so a run-off between two candidates would not have happened anyway".

However, the Socialist Party, which is to the left of Labour, held on to most of its seats, and the Green Left party was the big victor of the night, making huge gains.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault both rushed early Thursday to offer their congratulations to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who held onto office even though he lost almost a fifth of his seats in parliament.

Far-right populism was beaten back...but the center didn't hold. It is also very encouraging to note that a huge majority of Dutch voters remain steadfastly in favour of the EU.

"The real bellwether election will be Marine Le Pen's quest for the French presidency, starting April 23 - that is where the populist action is and that is what we should be focusing upon", she said.

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