Broadcaster RTL decided to go through with the "Premier debate" later this month despite the VVD and PVV refusing their invitations. RTL initially decided to cancel the election debate after Geert Wilders and Mark Rutte said they wouldn't participate. But a massive outcry from viewers and other political parties made them change their mind.
In an interview with WNL over the weekend PVV leader Geert Wilders claimed that "we are losing the Netherlands". As examples he said that "schools often only serve halal food. Our holidays, Christmas and Easter, we're not allowed to celebrate anymore, according to some people". A group of Journalism students in Leiden decided to fact check these two statements and concluded that they are nonsense, RTL Nieuws reports.
The newest information on Peilingwijzer - a platform that brings the information of various polls together - has the PVV only barely larger than the VVD. Geert Wilders' PVV currently stands at between 25 and 29 seats, only two seats more that Mark Rutte's VVD - between 23 and 27 seats. Political scientist Tom Louwerse, creator of Peilingwijzer, told NOS that this is not due to the VVD gaining support, but rather the PVV losing ground.
The PVV lost 5 seats since December. "You can now see that decline to a greater or lesser extent at all polling agencies", Louwerse said to NOS.
Almost half of Dutch political parties' campaigns for the parliamentary elections contain proposals that are diametrically opposed to the current constitution or rule of law, according to a study by a committee of professors. There were proposals that violate fundamental human rights, access to an independent court and legal security, among other things, ANP reports.
VVD leader Mark Rutte and PVV leader Geert Wilders both decided to withdraw from the "premier debate" scheduled to air on RTL on February 26th. Both blame the broadcaster for their withdrawal, saying that RTL broke the agreements by inviting five parties to the debate instead of four.
Geert Wilders and his PVV came out as the most popular party among the highly-educated and people with a mid-level education in a survey done by trade union De Unie. "The mantra that the PVV attracts the angry, low-educated white man is with this study definitely broken", Reinier Castelein, president of De Unie, said to WNL.
De Unie surveyed nearly 4 thousand people about their political affiliation. The PVV came out as the most popular party, followed by the VVD and D66. Though the vast majority of respondents did not know who they will vote for.
The Photoshopped image PVV leader Geert Wilders tweeted of D66 leader Alexander Pechtold is "totally tasteless", Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) said on television program Jinek.
A data leak from Dutch voting guide Stemwijzer, the only one online as yet, revealed which parties are most often recommended to people. After answering 30 questions, most people got the PVV recommended to them, followed by the PvdA. GeenPeil and Forum voor Democratie are at the bottom of the list.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that PVV leader Geert Wilders crossed a line by spreading a Photoshopped image of Pechtold protesting with what Wilders calls "Hamas terrorists".
PVV leader Geert Wilders tweeting a Photoshopped image of D66 leader Alexander Pechtold protesting with Hamas supporters on Monday morning, is leading to concern that the Dutch parliamentary elections in March will be dominated by "fake news" as the American elections were last year, NRC reports.
If the PVV wins the parliamentary elections in March and Geert Wilders becomes prime minister, Amsterdam should become a republic, D66 alderman Simone Kukenheim said on Saturday. Wilders responded to this call on Twitter with a Photoshopped image showing D66 leader Alexander Pechtold protesting with what Wilders calls "Hamas-terrorists".
Traditionally the Dutch labor party PvdA could count on most of the votes from minorities living in the Netherlands, but that no longer seems to be the matter of course, according to a unique survey by EtnoBarometer. Many voters with immigrant backgrounds will instead vote for new party DENK in this election. And the PVV is surprisingly popular among Dutch-Surinamese voters, being the second most popular party in this population group, AD reports.
The survey was done by market researcher Aziz El Kaddouri among 1792 ethnic minority voters.
A conversation on a train with two young PVV voters ended with GroenLinks candidate parliamentarian Lisa Westerveld being called a "GroenLinks whore" and "ugly bitch". The young men also threatened her by calling someone and arranging that she be met by guys at the Nijmegen station. "When they are done with you you'll vote PVV", they said, Westerveld told AD.
Rotterdam public transport company RET denied the PVV and Geert Wilders' request to wrap anti-Islam banners around the city's trams. "We are a public transport company and politically neutral", a spokesperson said to NOS. According to the spokesperson, political messages on trams and buses does not suit the RET.
On Thursday morning Wilders posted a photo of the tram wraps on Twitter saying that he offered it to the RET. The wraps show a photo of Wilders and the slogan "Stop Islam".
According to D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven, Donald Trump's decree to close the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries is "pure discrimination". In a parliamentary debate on the matter on Thursday he that the Dutch government makes a "strong noise against" this decree, a sentiment shared by a number of other parties. The Netherlands decided to suspend talks with American Border Patrol regarding the entry ban for the time being , AD reports.
The VVD and PVV, the two leading parties in all the polls, are threatening to boycott the 'premier debate' on RTL late this month. If the broadcaster invites more than four parties to the debate, the VVD and PVV will not participate, spokespersons from both parties said to AD.
Most of the political parties in the Netherlands do not secure their websites properly, which means that they are vulnerable to hackers, ethical hacker Sijmen Ruwhof said to NRC. "PvdA, PVV, VVD, CDA and D66 for example have not installed certain security updates on their party websites for over a year, which makes them more vulnerable to hackers", Ruwhof said to the newspaper.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs are against a ban on entry for asylum seekers and people from seven Muslim countries that United President Donald Trump implemented over the weekend. They reject and regret this ban, the two Dutch officials said in a joint statement on Sunday, ANP reports.
VVD faction leader Halbe Zijlstra is concerned about attacks on the media by right-wing populist politicians. According to him, the idea many right-wing politicians are spreading that if the media disagrees with you they're lying, is "not normal", he said in the Raido 1 program Stand.NL, ANP reports.
Zijlstra was asked to attend a right-wing European political meeting in Koblenz, Germany over the weekend. PVV leader Geert Wilders also attended and gave a speech.
The PVV accused Dutch ambassador to Denmar Henk Swarttouw of campaign meddling after he referred to the party as "the beast" in a tweet. PVV parliamentarian Raymond de Roon wants an explanation from Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs, the Telegraaf reports.
50Plus leader Henk Krol will not rule out working with Geert Wilders and his PVV in a next government, he wrote in an opinion piece in the Volkskrant. That makes the 50Plus one of very few political parties still willing to do so.
The VVD will not team up with the PVV after the elections coming up in March, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on television program Buitenhof on Saturday. And with that Geert Wilders and his anti-Islam populist party has no one to cooperate with after the elections - each political party has excluded working with the PVV, the Volkskrant reports.
Rutte said that the "probability is not 0.1, but zero that the VVD will govern with the PVV", on Buitenhof. "It's not going to happen." Previously the PvdA, CDA, D66, GroenLinks and SP already closed the door on working with the PVV.