Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

Europe

Dutch far-right party scores victory in local vote

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-04

The far-right Party for Freedom of Dutch anti-Islamist leader Geert Wilders scored major gains in municipal polls Thursday, coming first in Almere and second in The Hague, making the party a credible challenger in June's national election.

AFP - The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders came first in municipal elections in Almere, east of Amsterdam, and second in The Hague, according to partial results released early Thursday.
   
Wilders's party, set up in 2006 to "stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands," contested only those two cities in its first municipal election Wednesday, three months ahead of early general elections June 9.
   
In Almere the PVV with 21.6 percent of the vote was ahead of the labour PvdA, winner in the previous elections in 2006, which got 17.6 percent, according to the results from 96 of the 98 polling stations.
   
"What is possible in The Hague and Almere is possible all over the country. It's a springboard for our victory," Wilders told supporters in Almere.
   
In The Hague, the country's political capital, the PVV came in second behind the PvdA.
   
Most polls had predicted the PVV would come first in Almere, a city of 187,000 inhabitants east of the capital Amsterdam, and second or third in The Hague -- the Netherlands' third largest city with 442,000 residents.
   
The PVV holds nine seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament.
   
The Dutch went to the polls Wednesday for local elections viewed as a test of political loyalties and far-right leanings 10 days after the collapse of the centre-left national government.
   
These would be "the most nationally-focused local elections ever," the leftist Volkskrant newspaper said as pollsters predicted a tough ride for the two biggest parties - the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the PvdA.
   
Polls indicate that both parties were damaged ahead of national elections brought forward to June 9; the big winner being Wilders' PVV, now thought to be the most popular.
   
Some 12 million Dutch out of a total 16.5 million were registered to vote in 394 municipalities for nearly 9,000 councillors countrywide.
   
Wilders's party came in second in the European elections of June last year with 16.7 percent of the vote behind the Christian Democrats of outgoing premier Jan Peter Balkenende.
   
PvdA leader Wouter Bos withdrew his party from the national government last month in a spat with Balkenende's CDA over extending the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan.
   
The CDA got 41 seats out of 150 in parliament in the previous round of national elections, the PvdA 33 and the PVV nine.
   
Wilders is awaiting trial for alleged hate speech against Muslims for having likened the Koran with Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and calling Islam a fascist religion.
   
In 2006 municipal elections, the PvdA came out tops with 23.45 percent of the vote nationally, ahead of the CDA which got 16.83 percent.

Date created : 2010-03-04

COMMENT(S)