Monday, March 24, 2014 - 08:00
PVV in crisis, politicos leave
Geert Wilders' party doesn't seem to entirely agree with everything he has said over the last week, as several PVV members have left over the last week. After Wilders' speech at the election evening meeting, in which he incited his followers to chant that they want "fewer fewer fewer" Moroccans in the city, the party is undergoing somewhat of a transformation. The first one to leave was Parliament Member Roland van Vliet on the 20th of March. It is known that Van Vliet hasn't always been on the same page as Wilders, but the comments about "fewer Moroccans" was the last straw for him. Van Vliet said that Wilders took yet another step on the "ladder of accomplished facts." He will remain in Parliament as a one-man fraction. Merely a day later, PVV-council member Chris van der Helm in The Hague followed Van Vliet out the door. He is a speaker for education, poverty and social affairs and employment for the PVV in The Hague. He was fifth on the list for the municipal council elections candidates of the party. Joram van Klaveren also chose to leave the party. Wilders' comments were only part of the reason for the MP's departure. He wrote in a letter to his fraction cohorts that "the road that we walk as Party for Freedom has now become fruitless." In the evening, on the same day, it became known that the leader of the PVV in Europe, and figurehead for the party in Limburg, Laurence Stassen, also turned her back on the party. She also found the course that the PVV is taking with "fewer Moroccans" to be unfavorable. In Almere and in the Provincial States of Flevoland, a large number of PVV fraction members are also taking distance from Wilders' comments. The members want to retain their positions in the PVV, but denounce Wilders' line of thought. They wrote this in a message, that Wilders threatened would cause him to expel them from the party if it went public. The members acknowledge this in the end of the message, saying that they know and accept the consequences of their step. Wilders' American supporters, namely Daniel Pipes who operates in the US as islam-critic, and collected funds for Wilders, criticized Wilders, saying that the PVV leader should have been "more careful" with his expressions. Pipes is director for the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia, PA. He aided Wilders financially when Wilders was prosecuted in 2009 in relation to hate-breeding. The following day, 22 March, two of the three PVV State members in Friesland left the party in disagreement with Wilders'comments. Fraction president Otto van der Galiën and Pieter Buisman took distance from Wilders' expressions. Three years ago, in October, the first fraction member already left after the party won four seats in the Frisian Provincial States. Jelle Hiemstra left because he was not able to toe the anti-islamic line of the PVV. Of those four seats, only one is left.