Dutch member of Parliament proposes to abolish the Cabinet

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders has finished his statement of principles, which sets out his political plans for the future. The 20-page statement is referred to as 'Onafhankelijkheidsverklaring' (Declaration of Independence) by Wilders. It is a continuation of a ten-point plan written by Wilders and former colleague, Gert-Jan Oplaat, and proposed to Wilders' former party, the VVD.

The ten-point plan caused disagreement between Wilders and the VVD, including a difference of opinion on whether to allow Turkey to enter the EU. Wilders left the VVD on September 3rd last year. He started a political party of his own, known as Groep Wilders (Group Wilders). Though he did not have enough votes during the last election, he refused to relinquish his seat in parliament to the VVD.

In his statement, Wilders proposed among others to abolish certain ministries. Wilders also proposed outlawing the further creation of Islamic schools and closing mosques that proclaim extremist views. Furthermore, he proposed that the number of provinces be reduced from 12 to 4, the five islands of the Antilles be expelled from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the number of civil servants be cut by 50%.

Because of his marked views, public opinion of Wilders and his statement is strongly divided. As a result of his criticism of Islamic extremism, Wilders (along with Ayaan Hirsi Ali) received several death threats, which are taken very seriously after the murder on Theo van Gogh by an Islamic extremist last year and the assassination of political icon Pim Fortuyn in 2002. He is being held in a secure location, where he organises dinners for 2000 to raise money for his campaign.