Wilders looks local: Anti-Islam PVV candidates to run in seven city elections

Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders

The PVV is turning its attention to local governments. Next year the anti-Islam party wants to participate in municipal elections in Rotterdam, Enschede, Almelo, Twenterand and Urk, party leader Geert Wilders announced on Twitter on Saturday. The party will also participate in The Hague and Almere. 

Until now the PVV was only represented in the city councils of The Hague and Almere, according to the Volkskrant. But in December the party announced a change in strategy. The PVV wants to be part of at least five to ten municipalities per province. 

By participating in more local communities the PVV is increasing its breeding ground for new talent. According to the Volkskrant, this is necessary because the PVV only has one member and therefore no mapped path to political office. The anti-Islam party may also be following the SP example of using governing in municipalities and provinces to build up credibility. 

Leefbaar Rotterdam, who will be a direct competitor for the PVV in Rotterdam, is looking to the PVV's participation with confidence. "In terms of content we are not far apart. But we have been tried and tested in local government. And Leefbaar Rotterdam has its organization in order." Ronald Sorensen, founder of Leefbaar Rotterdam, said to the Volkskrant. "I am not afraid of a little competition." Leefbaar Rotterdam is Islam-critical, not as Islamophobic as the PVV.

In the parliamentary election on March 15th the PVV became the second largest party in Rotterdam with 15.6 percent of the votes. Wilders thinks that Rotterdam needs a "loud noise. Against Islamization. Against DENK", according to the newspaper. 

In Overijssel the PVV wants to participate in at least three municipalities. In Almelo the PVV came out the largest party in the parliamentary election and in Enschede and Twenterand the second largest party. In Urk the PVV came in fourth, behind the CDA, ChristenUnie and SGP.

For Volendam and Spijkenisse, where the PVV campaigned, Wilders has no immediate plans. The PVV will also not participate in the Limburg municipal elections, despite the party getting many votes there in the parliamentary election.