Dutch all set for polls amid escalating row with Turkey

Right-wing populist Geert Wilders has emerged as a front runner for Wednesday's polls with his anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rhetoric. He hopes the deepening row with Turkey will bolster his chances of winning.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The parliamentary elections are being seen as a face-off between Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) and nationalist leader Geert Wilders (L).

The Netherlands is all set to go to parliamentary elections on Wednesday amid an escalating diplomatic row with Turkey over not allowing Ankara’s ministers to address Turkish expatriates over the weekend.

Up to 13 million Dutch people will vote to elect the new House of Representatives in a ballot seen as a face-off between Prime Minister Mark Rutte and nationalist leader Geert Wilders.

Although as many as 28 political parties are contesting the elections, right-wing populist Wilders has emerged as a front runner with his anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Wilders hopes clashes between Turkish-Dutch protesters and the police, along with Ankara's accusations of Dutch "fascism", will help bolster his chances of finishing first.

His Party for Freedom (PVV) has virtually no chance of forming a government, given the splintered political landscape.

Other parties have ruled out a coalition with a party they view as racist.

TRT World’s Simon McGregor-Wood brings more on this from The Hague.

Source: 
TRTWorld, Reuters