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Dutch vote shows single issue parties won't succeed - Finnish minister
March 16, 2017 / 12:29 PM / in 9 months

Dutch vote shows single issue parties won't succeed - Finnish minister

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Smaller-than-expected gains for Geert Wilder’s anti-Islam party in the Dutch election show that a political group must have a broad agenda to succeed, Finland’s eurosceptic foreign minister Timo Soini said on Monday.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD Liberal party appears before his supporters in The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

“It shows how far a party with a narrow agenda can reach in an election... One should define a stance for fiscal policy, education policy, foreign policy and so forth. One must be a general party to succeed in election,” Soini told reporters.

Soini helped his moderate nationalist Finns party become the second-largest party in parliament and enter government in 2015 by distancing the party from Europe’s far-right groups.

But compromises in government have angered voters, and the party now ranks fifth in the polls with support of about 9 percent.

Soini is due to step down from the party leadership in June in a move that may bring down the three-party government, and steer the Finns party deeper into right-wing populism.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Dominic Evans

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