Anti-Islam party to be on Rotterdam, Utrecht city election ballots
Geert Wilders' anti-Islam party PVV will definitely be taking part in the municipal elections in Rotterdam and Utrecht next year. The PVV planned to participate in 60 municipalities in the upcoming elections, but that did not work out. The party could not find enough good candidates, according to NOS.
The PVV is currently only represented in the municipalities of The Hague and Almere. Parties have until December 27th to register themselves for the municipal elections, which will be held on March 21st next year.
Wilders will present the leader of the Rotterdam faction of the PVV at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, AD reports. This will happen on the corner of Slaghekstraat and West-Varkenoordseweg in the city, just across the street from the Essalam Mosque. The candidate list will be announced later on Thursday.
Jacob van der Blom, director of the Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam, is not worried about Wilders' planned event in front of the mosque. "We'll just stay inside. If it rains, they can come in and have a cup of coffee. They are on the Vredesplein [Peace Square in English], I hope they realize that", he said to the newspaper. He did call it "exhausting" and "sad" that parties like the PVV and Leefbaar Rotterdam constantly target mosques, and the Essalam Mosque in particular. "They see us as a wonderful projectile for polarization, for an easy score. But that is a dead end. We get so tired of it, that people just shout at each other."
Van der Blom believes that a change of heart is noticeable in Rotterdam. "I am convinced that Rotterdam, the city of [murdered populist politician Pim] Fortuyn, will also be the city of the turnaround. That we can find each other in the name of general interest."