In a politically inspired witch hunt, a panel of 3 judges in the Netherlands convicted Geert Wilders of incitement to discrimination, and also of insulting an ethnic group.
The ethnic group in question was Moroccans, as if Morocco is a race. Charges stem from 2014 when Wilders replied “We’re going to take care of that.” to a group of cheering supporters who shouted that they wanted fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.
No matter what one may think of Wilders personally, the charge appears ridiculous. Nonetheless, Geert Wilders Found guilty, With No Penalty when he could have been fined or jailed for his comments.
Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islam politician, has been found guilty of incitement to discrimination and insulting an ethnic group but managed to avoid punishment in a trial in the Netherlands.
Prosecutors had demanded that Mr Wilders, whose rightwing Party for Freedom, or PVV, tops the polls, face a fine of €5,000 for leading anti-Moroccan chants at a rally. But judges opted not to impose any punishment, arguing that a conviction alone was damaging enough.
Mr Wilders’ PVV is forecast to be the Netherlands’ biggest party in elections in three months, with a slim lead over the centre-right VVD of Mark Rutte, the prime minister.
In a video released after the verdict, Mr Wilders said: “I am not a racist and neither are my voters.”
In his final statement to the court in late November, Mr Wilders accused senior ministers, from Mr Rutte down, of running a political trial and conducting a witch hunt against him.
The case was the second in which Mr Wilders has been accused of inciting hate speech, after he was cleared of similar charges in 2011. That long-running case, which stemmed from comments made between 2006 and 2008, helped raise Mr Wilders’ profile in the country.
Before the trial, Mr Wilders had struck a defiant tone. “I will continue to speak the truth regardless, including about the Moroccan problem, and no judge, politician or terrorist will stop me,” he told a Dutch newspaper.
I commented on Wilders, including his final statement to the judges on November 30, in Multiple Simultaneous Threats: Nexit Next?
Wilders elected to not defend himself, except for a very long final statement to the judges. For excerpts, click on the above link.
Wilders is ahead in all the recent polls. However, the Netherlands has over a dozen political parties, making a coalition nearly mandatory.
Chart from Wikipedia Opinion polling for the Dutch general election, 2017.
That coalition will not come close to having a majority of seats. In fact, it appears Wilders will win (get the most seats). Unless Wilders can form a coalition, he will not be the next prime minister.
Wikipedia explains: The first Rutte cabinet’s parliamentary majority was provided by Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam, -immigration, and -EU Party for Freedom (PVV), but this majority became unstable when Wilders’ party refused to support austerity measures in connection with the Euro crisis. Therefore, elections for the House of Representatives were held on 12 September 2012. The VVD remained the largest party, with 41 seats. Since 5 November 2012, the VVD has been the senior partner in the second Rutte cabinet, a “purple” coalition with the Labour Party (PvdA).
Rutte may not survive the next election. If he does, it will be an unstable coalition of many political parties banding together to keep out Wilders.
Such coalitions may rule for a while, but will have a very difficult time passing legislation.
If Wilders comes in first, even if he cannot form a coalition, it will be another vote of no confidence in the immigration politics of German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Another One Bites the Dust, More Coming
On December 4, I reported Renzi Resigns Following Crushing Referendum Defeat: Beppe Grillo, Marine le Pen, Matteo Salvina Tweets
I ran out of room to include Renzi. As it stands now, Rutte is in the batters box with an 0-2 count, needing a run but trailing Wilders in the bottom of the 9th.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock