Dutch Election Winner Wilders Is Close to Sealing Coalition Deal

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

(Bloomberg) -- Dutch election winner Geert Wilders is poised to clinch a coalition agreement for a right-wing government as soon as today, with the name of the country’s next prime minister expected to be part of an announcement later on Wednesday.

Most Read from Bloomberg

“I think it will turn out well, I don’t see anything going wrong anymore,” Wilders said in the early hours on Wednesday after another round of talks concluded. Wilders and the three right-wing parties he’s negotiating with to form the next government resumed discussions at 10 a.m. local time.

Wilders plans to appoint a lead negotiator who will take up the role of prime minister, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg last week. That person would also be in charge of forming the cabinet.

One name that has been circulated as a potential candidate for the top job is Ronald Plasterk, a former education and interior minister. Though a member of the Labor Party — which isn’t part of the talks — Plasterk is nowadays a conservative columnist for the local Telegraaf newspaper after drifting away from his party over time.

Read more: Who’s Geert Wilders, the Far-Right Would-Be Dutch PM?: QuickTake

Wilders had picked Plasterk as a so-called scout, tasked with exploring the various options available for the formation of a new cabinet after the elections late last year. Despite Plasterk’s political views, the fact that he has served in government for another party suggests a wide network and understanding of the other parties. He has also worked with outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The four party leaders have already said they themselves don’t plan to take up positions in the next cabinet, which is expected to include a mix of political appointees as well as technocrats brought in from outside. As leader of the largest bloc in parliament Wilders will still make decisions behind the scenes, along with his three coalition partners.

Read More: Wilders May Tap Next Dutch Prime Minister as Soon as Next Week

In the Nov. 22 election, Wilders’ party won around a quarter of the parliamentary seats, more than any polls had predicted. The latest polls indicate that support for Wilders has grown stronger since then.

Shortly after the election, Wilders’ Freedom Party and a clutch of rivals — the liberal VVD, the center-right NSC and the populist Farmer-Citizen Movement — began negotiations to form a government. Even if a prime ministerial candidate is announced today, discussions between the parties are likely to continue as policy details get hammered out.

“It is going to succeed! We will discuss a few more points but this cannot go wrong,” Caroline van der Plas, the leader of the pro-farmer party, said in a post on social-media platform X on Wednesday.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.