Wilders, Anti-Islam party could win Netherlands election: Dutch PM

Geert Wilders Purmerend borders closed
Geert Wilders in Purmerend handing out flyers against the opening of an asylum reception center there. Oct. 6, 2015 (photo: PVV). Geert Wilders in Purmerend handing out flyers against the opening of an asylum reception center there. Oct. 6, 2015 (photo: PVV)

Geert Wilders has a strong chance of coming out on top following elections, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in Rotterdam on Monday.  Rutte repeated comments he made during a televised interview last week, when he told of going asleep on June 23 thinking Brexit would be voted down, only to find out otherwise the next morning. He had a similar opinion of the November 8 election in the United States.

"There is a real risk that on March 16 we can wake up in this country and Geert Wilders is leading the biggest party and that will send a signal to the rest of the world," he told reporters, according to Reuters. He then implored Dutch voters to put a stop to the "erroneous populism." 

The elections are scheduled for this Wednesday in the Netherlands. 

A coalition of political parties will likely be needed in order to reflect a majority of the 150 members of Dutch parliament. that is supported in public polling has said and the nationalistic, anti-Islam PVV party he leads.

Though Rutte initially said his politically conservative VVD party would not work with Wilders when the new Cabinet is formed, he later walked back those statements. Rutte was harshly criticized by rising political star Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks for the flip-flop. not willing to work with him as being "undemocratic."

Rutte and Wilders are set to have a one-on-one political debate Monday evening. The two dropped out of a political debate with other party leaders last month. The VVD and PVV hold the top and second place position in Dutch polling, according to the March 12 release from Peilingwijzer, a weighted average of six frequent statistical surveys in the Netherlands.

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