March 16, 2017 / 12:33 AM / 10 months ago

Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders promises firm opposition

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam Party for Freedom, congratulated Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on his victory in Wednesday’s parliamentary election, promising firm parliamentary opposition if he did not end up in the coalition.

“I would rather have been the largest party,” he told reporters outside his office in parliament. “(But) we gained seats. That’s a result to be proud of.”

Even outside of government, his party’s influence on Dutch politics had been enormous, he added.

Wilders said he did not understand Rutte’s comment that Dutch voters had said no to the “wrong kind of populists”.

“I don’t know what he means. He is implying there are good and bad populists. I don’t see myself as a populist but he is suggesting I am a bad populist and some kind of Nazi.”

Reporting By Thomas Escritt; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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