Tags: EU | Netherlands | Elections

Dutch PM Wants to Stop 'Wrong Sort of Populism'

Image: Dutch PM Wants to Stop 'Wrong Sort of Populism'
Dutch PM Mark Rutte (Reuters)

Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 07:25 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says his country's parliamentary elections can show the world that what he calls the "wrong sort of populism" can be stopped.

"It is the third elections after Brexit, after the American elections," Rutte said Wednesday as he cast his vote at a school in The Hague. "We have the upcoming French and German elections. And this is a chance for a big democracy like the Netherlands to make a point — to stop this toppling over of the domino stones of the wrong sort of populism."

Rutte and firebrand anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders have been in the media spotlight in the closing days of campaigning as many look to the Netherlands' vote for a sign of the progress of populism ahead of elections elsewhere in Europe.

Keen to mobilize as many voters for his VVD party as possible, Rutte repeated a warning he has been making in recent days — that despite his party's lead in most polls, the Netherlands could wake up Thursday morning and discover that "Geert Wilders is leading the biggest party."

A website that assembles data from major pollsters in the Netherlands has published its final tally and it's good news for Rutte.

The site Peilingwijzer has Rutte's right-wing VVD party taking between 24 and 28 seats in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament.

Wilders' far-right populist Party for Freedom is in second place with 19-23 seats, narrowly ahead of the Christian Democrats, which are forecast to pick up 19-21 seats. Wilders' party has been losing ground in recent weeks.

The biggest loser looks like Rutte's junior coalition partner since 2012, the Labor Party, which is projected to take 10-12 seats, well below the 38 seats the party won four years ago.

A closing debate featuring leaders of Dutch political parties was far and away the most popular show on television on the eve of the country's election.

The Viewing Research Foundation, which publishes viewing figures, said that nearly 3.3 million people tuned into the debate Tuesday evening, the last major campaign event before voting got underway early Wednesday.

Second on the list was the 8 p.m. news by national broadcaster NOS, which preceded the debate, with 2.5 million viewers.

Wilders says that whatever the result of Wednesday's election, the kind of populist politics he and others in Europe represent will be here to stay.

After casting his ballot in the Hague, Wilder said: "Whatever the outcome of the election today, the genie will not go back into the bottle."

He predicted the same feeling would show in elections later this year in France and Germany. He says: "Despite what the elite wants, politicians are getting strong who have a totally different concept of what the people want them to do."

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
GlobalTalk
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says his country's parliamentary elections can show the world that what he calls the "wrong sort of populism" can be stopped. "It is the third elections after Brexit, after the American elections," Rutte said Wednesday...
EU, Netherlands, Elections
462
2017-25-15
Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 07:25 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved