Geert Wilders says he is there for ‘everyone’ amid uncertainty over Dutch government formation – Europe live

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Wilders argues he is there for ‘everyone’ amid uncertainty over government formation

Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-right leader whose Party for Freedom (PVV) won the most seats in last week’s election, is upping efforts to portray himself as an acceptable possible prime minister.

The Party for Freedom is a “broad” people’s party, he wrote on social media this morning.

“2.4 million people voted for us. High and low educated, native and immigrant, employed, retired, young and old. From the city, the countryside,” he wrote, adding: “The PVV is there for everyone”.

But despite his strong election performance, Wilders’ views remain controversial – and it is unclear if the PVV can reach agreements with other parties to form a coalition.

Geert Wildersmeets the press as Dutch parties’ lead candidates meet for the first time after elections
Geert Wildersmeets the press as Dutch parties’ lead candidates meet for the first time after elections. Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters

Updated at 08.17 GMT

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Good morning and welcome back to the Europe blog.

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Send thoughts and comments to lili.bayer@theguardian.com.

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Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-right leader whose Party for Freedom (PVV) won the most seats in last week’s election, is upping efforts to portray himself as an acceptable possible prime minister.

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The Party for Freedom is a “broad” people’s party, he wrote on social media this morning.

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“2.4 million people voted for us. High and low educated, native and immigrant, employed, retired, young and old. From the city, the countryside,” he wrote, adding: “The PVV is there for everyone”.

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But despite his strong election performance, Wilders’ views remain controversial – and it is unclear if the PVV can reach agreements with other parties to form a coalition.

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Key events

Senay Boztas

The far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders admitted on Monday that he was not off to a “dream start” in his attempts to form a government, after a man he appointed to oversee coalition talks quit over fraud allegations before getting started in the role.

As leader of the biggest party and as is customary in Dutch politics, Wilders had last week engaged the PVV senator Gom van Strien to act as his choice of “scout” – a person tasked with shuttling between party leaders to clinch a deal.

However, allegations emerged in the NRC Handelsblad newspaper over the weekend that Van Strien was one of several people accused by Utrecht Holdings of “irregular” handling of commercial spin-offs from Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht. While Van Strien has rejected any questions over his integrity and denied any allegation of fraud, he withdrew from the political process on Monday morning.

Dutch coalition processes typically take months and it is not unusual for them to be interrupted by party politics. Wilders has said he will look for a new scout “with more distance from politics” to attend the first meetings, which will be with him, the GreenLeft/Labour leader, Frans Timmermans, the VVD leader, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, and the head of the liberal democratic D66, Rob Jetten.

Although a prospective government could be made from the PVV, the rightwing VVD (current prime minister Mark Rutte’s party), the New Social Contract party led by Pieter Omtzigt, and the Dutch Farmer Citizen Movement (BBB), led by Caroline van der Plas, only the BBB has given a strong nod.

Having previously excluded Wilders, Omtzigt has said the result must be respected and his party would “take responsibility”. Yeşilgöz-Zegerius has already told media that she would not serve in a government under Wilders but would be willing to work in a confidence and supply arrangement.

Read the full story here.

Wilders argues he is there for ‘everyone’ amid uncertainty over government formation

Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-right leader whose Party for Freedom (PVV) won the most seats in last week’s election, is upping efforts to portray himself as an acceptable possible prime minister.

The Party for Freedom is a “broad” people’s party, he wrote on social media this morning.

“2.4 million people voted for us. High and low educated, native and immigrant, employed, retired, young and old. From the city, the countryside,” he wrote, adding: “The PVV is there for everyone”.

But despite his strong election performance, Wilders’ views remain controversial – and it is unclear if the PVV can reach agreements with other parties to form a coalition.

Geert Wildersmeets the press as Dutch parties’ lead candidates meet for the first time after elections
Geert Wildersmeets the press as Dutch parties’ lead candidates meet for the first time after elections. Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters

Updated at 08.17 GMT

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