Dutch Queen Beatrix does not like Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, the winner of the recent elections in the Netherlands; she is attempting to prevent the formation of a right-wing coalition that includes him.
The maneuvers to exclude Mr. Wilders have angered ordinary Dutchmen. Asked to comment on television, many voters could be heard complaining, “What is the use of going to vote when we are not listened to anyway?”
June’s general elections in the Netherlands resulted in a clear victory for the right. The Dutch Constitution, however, grants the Queen the power to appoint a person (or persons) of her choice to initiate and direct negotiations for the formation of a government coalition. By appointing the Labor politician Herman Tjeenk Willink to the position of formation facilitator, the Queen has made it clear that she wants a coalition that includes the Labor Party and excludes the Freedom Party of Geert Wilders.
An opinion poll taken last week shows that the Christian-Democrats would fall to the historic low level of 17 seats, while Mr. Wilders’ PVV would become the largest party in the country with 30 seats, ahead of the Liberals (28 seats) and Labor (27 seats).
Following the elections, Mr. Wilders said: “We want to be part of the new government. More security, less crime, less immigration, less Islam – that is what the Netherlands has chosen … I don’t think other parties can ignore us.” He seems, however, to have overlooked the power of the monarch.
For months, rumors have been circulating that the 72-year old Queen has postponed resigning in favor of her son, 43-year old Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange, until after the 2010 elections because she wants to thwart Mr. Wilders’ governmental ambitions. Although unelected, the Dutch monarch plays the decisive role in the government formation, and can easily bypass the electorate. This week, Afshin Ellian, a 44-year old Dutch professor of law at Leiden University, criticized the Queen for her role in obstructing a right-wing government.
Prof. Ellian came to the Netherlands in 1989 as a political refugee from Iran. He is a human rights activist and one of the Netherlands’ most outspoken critics of Islam. “Sometimes one learns more about political and constitutional realities in two weeks than other times in decades,” Ellian wrote on his blog. “Queen Beatrix,” he said,” has lost her impartiality in the eyes of many right-wing Dutchmen, The major winners of the past elections, namely the VVD and the PVV, have not been able to play a decisive role in the formation of a new cabinet.”
“The elite of the Left and the regents absolutely want to avoid the risk of a cabinet with Wilders,” writes Prof. Ellian. “Wilders has been preliminarily excluded without the elite even considering negotiations with him.” Ellian further points out that this is not just an injustice to Mr. Wilders, but also to his 1.5 million voters “who have been excluded from an important political process without as much as one relevant argument.”
Consequently, Queen Beatrix and her advisor Tjeenk Willink must maneuver very carefully. If they fail to put together a government without the PVV, there might be new elections, resulting in such a strong position for Mr. Wilders that one will not be able to exclude him.
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May Spain utterly CRUSH the Netherlands this Sunday.