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Can a Populist Become Dutch Prime Minister? QuickTake Q&A

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Populism Takes Over the World

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After Brexit and Donald Trump, is Geert Wilders the next voter thunderbolt? The Netherlands holds parliamentary elections on March 15, with the populist leader’s Freedom Party riding high in the polls. But to form a government, Wilders will need allies. And he doesn’t really have any.

Originally a Liberal, Wilders, known for his bouffant blond hairstyle, eventually broke away to become an independent lawmaker before setting up the Freedom Party, known as the PVV in Dutch, in 2006. His vehement opposition to Islam has led to him being given round-the-clock police protection. Last year a court found him guilty of inciting discrimination with comments about Moroccan immigrants, but the judges imposed no penalty. He made global headlines at the start of his election campaign by calling some Moroccans “scum.”