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The Netherlands

Dutch PM-elect set to form Wilders-backed government

re 2010
re 2010 AFP

Dutch Prime Minister-elect Mark Rutte has begun the process of forming a right-leaning minority government, which will rely heavily on the support of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders. Wilders is currently on trial on hate-speech charges.

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Rutte will meet colleagues over the next few days in order to form the 20-strong cabinet, which will be divided equally between his VVD party and the Christian Democrats.

Although Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom will remain outside the new government, it will throw its 24 parliamentary seats behind the coalition to enable it to pass decisions through parliament.

But Wilders’s conditons are expected to include a ban on the burka and a 50 per cent reduction in immigration.

Rutte's VVD narrowly won elections in June with 31 seats in parliament, while Wilders’s party saw it support triple from nine seat previously.

The parliamentary caucus of coalition partner, the CDA, was deeply divided over co-operation with Wilders but finally gave the government deal the go-ahead on Tuesday.
 

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